Kishugu Training equips people to make a difference
At a recent Kishugu Training passing out parade, held at the academy in Nelspruit, 87 new Working on Fire (WOF) firefighters graduated from the Basic Skills Programme. These young men and woman came from all over the Western Cape and Mpumalanga, not knowing what to expect, but after this 24 day programme they are ready to battle one of nature’s most dangerous forces – wildfires.
Eustacia Ramokonupi, Senior Instructor at Kishugu Training, says that it is always a privilege to see how new and inexperienced participants transform into proud and courageous WOF firefighters. “I am very proud of this group. They stayed motivated right through the programme and worked well as a team.”
According to Captain Fundiswa, a participant from the Western Cape, the training was hard but worth it. “The instructors were tough on us, but as our skills improved, the training became fun.”
Devedin Andrews, also from the Western Cape, told how she saw their family’s shack burn down in 2013. “That was a terrible experience. A friend later told me about Working on Fire and I then decided that I wanted to become a firefighter and help prevent that experience from happening to others.”
During Kishugu Training’s 24-day Basic Skills programme, participants are first equipped with an understanding of wildfire behaviour. They are taught how to become actively involved in the suppression of wildfires and to apply sound fire suppression actions, based on the use of firefighting hand tools. They are also trained to implement prescribed fire – which helps prevent unwanted wildfires – and trained to use water delivery equipment.
During the passing out parade Siyabonga Simana, a participant form the Western Cape, delivered a poem, explaining what this training opportunity meant to him:
By Siyabonga Simana
I was in the dark, but WOF showed me the light.
Before, I didn’t know wrong from right – controlled by fright.
I fell over my feet, like a blind man in the street.
But now I know who I am:
I am a warrior; a trained firefighter.
I fight fire with fire and come out victorious.
“Fire, I can defeat you – stop killing my people!”
My world is already in shambles because of sickness, poverty and crime.
So, I stand before you as a firefighter,
and enough is enough.
Kishugu Training is proud to be part of the of the award-winning, South African Government’s Working on Fire programme. Their training courses – which include Basic and Advanced Firefighting, Fire Management, Incident Command System (ICS) training, First Aid and other Associated Programmes – are aimed at enabling people to save lives, protect properties and safeguard the environment.
“By upskilling people, Kishugu Training serves the greater good,” says Willie Buchner, Divisional Director, Kishugu Training.
Captain Fundiswa, Siyabonga Simana and Devedin Andrew (WOF Firefighters from the Western Cape) are proud to have completed Kishugu Training’s Basic Skills Programme.