More fire fighters for Swakopmund

The Swakopmund Town Council has created four additional positions for fire fighters, in order to improve fire safety service delivery, especially to the residents of the DRC and Mondesa. The new appointment will cost Town Council N$ 1.4 million per year. The decision was taken by Town Council at its recent meeting.

Swakopmund will soon have a total of ten fire fighters with four more members to join the team once the jobs are advertised and the suited candidates appointed. Town Council recently approved the new positions as members of the public, especially residents of Mondesa and DRC, raised concerns about the frequency of fire incidents.
According to the Agenda of the recent meeting, Town Council conducted a series of public meetings aimed at gaining inputs, comments, aspirations and expectations from the residents. “Amongst the concerns raised by the public the subject of fire incidents in Mondesa and DRC featured prominently, particularly, the need for a prompt and adequate response time from the Swakopmund Fire Brigade,” it states.
After considering these concerns, Council decided to introduce a three shift system for the DRC and Mondesa where shack fires occur most frequent. According to the Agenda the fire station in DRC has been upgraded recently, being able to accommodate fire fighters on a 24/7 basis. “The fire station is situated in the centre of the DRC and when staffed with permanent fire fighters the response time of fire incidents will be greatly improved,” it states.
The yearly salary for one Fire Fighter is estimated at about N$328 000. “This means that appointing four additional fire fighters will cost Council in the region of N$1.4 million (taking into account possible salary increases),” it states. Council decided to make the necessary budgetary provision for these new positions in the 2016/2017 financial year.
The dire situation of the Swakopmund Fire Brigade is further explained in the Agenda. “Fire incidents are a regular occurrence in the DRC and Mondesa, almost at a fortnightly rate, and create indescribable suffering to the community including victims and their families through loss of properties and even lives.
This situation calls for an urgent relook at our operation and staffing in order to better serve and protect our community,” it states.
The situation in DRC and Mondesa is aggravated by the fact that shacks are built from highly combustible materials with the result that such structures get destroyed by the fire much faster compared to normal brick houses.
If a fire team is available at the fire station in DRC on a 24/7 basis this arrangement will definitely make the Fire Brigade more effective resulting in a drastic reduction in response time.

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