Swakopmund mourns death of its Fire Chief

Sharlien Tjambari

The Swakopmund community mourns the passing of its Fire Chief, Adri Goosen. Goosen passed away in a medical facility in Windhoek on Monday, after a health struggle of several weeks.

Goosen joined the Swakopmund Municipality as Fire Chief in 2011, a position he retained until his passing.
Wesley Metjavi, the Acting Deputy Fire Chief, who joined the Swakopmund Fire Brigade as a fire fighter the same time as Goosen in 2011, described the late Goosen as a humble, committed and very experienced colleague.
“He did not discriminate against age, gender or race. He treated everyone equal. He always used to say work comes first before anything else. He took his job very serious”, said Metjavi.
According to Metjavi, Goosen was always willing to help, teach and assist those who needed assistance. “If you are willing to learn, he will teach you. If not, he would leave you behind. That is how he was”.
Goosen was popular in the Swakopmund community. He was always available to respond to an emergency.
“Everyone knew him. He always went that extra mile. Especially for fire victims. He would for instance go out of his way to make sure fire victims had food to eat after a fire has destroyed their homes. He dug in his own pocket for money to assist if there was not money available at the time”, added Metjavi.

In his career Goosen trained many fire fighters. People who had the opportunity to work with him have learned a lot from him. “We will transfer the knowledge he instilled in us to future generations”.
Mrs Marolese Niemand, the Human Capital Practitioner at the Swakopmund Municipality, said no words can describe the legacy Goosen leaves behind.
“He taught us to be brave and to tackle our problems with confidence, even if it is hard”. Niemand said Goosen made a big impact on the community and everyone, he changed many lives.
The newly appointed Deputy Fire Chief, Bainga Matengu, will be the Acting Fire Chief for the immediate future. He joined the Fire Brigade on 3 May when Goosen was already on sick leave.
Although he never met Goosen before, he felt the legacy left behind was immense. “I have big shoes to fill now”, he remarked.

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