City spends R189-million on 28 new fire engines

Emergency Management Services (Coj image).

The City of Johannesburg has purchased 28 new state-of-the-art fire engines – one for each fire station – at a total cost of R189-million and will employ an additional 160 firefighters to enhance the capacity of its Emergency Management Services (EMS).

The two major public safety moves were revealed in an interview by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety Cllr Michael Sun on March 17 as the City accelerated steps to better service delivery in its EMS.

MMC Sun said the acquisition of the new and technologically advanced fire engines and the employment of additional firefighters, both of which he described as “long overdue”, would significantly improve the EMS’s response times.

The MMC said the delivery of the newly procured fire engines was expected to take place at the end of this month and October.

He said the existing fleet of fire engines in better conditions – some of which were more than 30 years old – would not be discarded but would be taken in for comprehensive repairs and proper maintenance.

“Only until we have good quality and mechanically sound fire engines will we be able to improve our turnaround times,” Cllr Sun said.

He said fire engines were very expensive and there may be better options then just writing them off.

“We have also started looking at other ways of maintaining the old fleet. We want to retain them as back-up vehicles. We could refurbish those that are maintainable so that we always have spare vehicles to respond to emergencies,” the MMC said.

On the recruitment of the additional 160 firefighters, Cllr Sun said: “We will ensure that the men and women are extensively trained to rescue our people from hazardous situations.”

Earlier this year, Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba announced that the City would beef up the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) by recruiting an extra 1 500 officers.

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