By Donna Collins
DOZENS of committed men and women working on mines around the country have put their best foot forward this year, to complete a challenging basic fire prevention course presented by the Swakopmund Fire and Emergency Services.
The ‘Fire Awareness’ course is designed to equip learners with the knowledge and necessary skills to manage and extinguish fires on the mines. The course covers many aspects of firefighting, whilst making full use of the excellent training facilities and equipment at the fire station, under the leadership of Swakopmund fire chief Adri Goosen.
The last five-day fire fighting drill for 2016 was held earlier this month, when a total of 12 employees from the B2 Gold’s Otjikoto mine as well as AREVA Resources Namibia, were put through their paces at the fire station. AREVA has an emergency response team on stand-by as well as fire fighting equipment at Trekkopje mine. According to the fire chief, this is an initiative supported by the mines who are the only companies working with the course at this stage. He said that the Swakopmund Fire and Emergency Services has completed five courses this year which were attended by all the major uranium mines in the region, which included Langer Heinrich, Husab Mine and Rossing Uranium. All mines have extensive safety regulations in place, of which extinguishing a fire on site is one of them. “These men and women who take part are not firefighters, but work on the mines in various departments and volunteer to do the course,” Goosen explained, adding. “They do a great job and this is an excellent initiative.”
The course offers everything from fire equipment requirements, rescue work, methods of operation, care and maintenance of fire equipment, operating procedure of handling fire hose reels, buckets and extinguishing mediums to mention some.
A mock fire drill set up at the Swakopmund fire station to provide a firsthand experience of putting out a fire is when it all comes together for these novices, who once kitted out in full fire fighting garb, get to work extinguishing an intimidating inferno from a heap of burning tyres. Participants confirmed that it was tough but a worthwhile training experience because they now feel more confident in tackling fires. A total of five courses have run this year for all the mines, with over 30 personnel trained. Meanwhile with the festive season upon us, the Swakopmund Fire and Emergency Services are getting ready for the crowds. Goosen confirmed that they will be active this December, and will be working closely with the Namibian Sea Rescue Institute as well during the season.
“Last year we were very busy, but there were reportedly fewer motor vehicle accidents, shack fires and drownings, so we just hope to have a peaceful festive season with less incidents this year as well.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015