DA: Merafong faces firefighting and EMS crisis

DA: Merafong faces firefighting and EMS crisis

Merafong local municipality, on the West Rand, has only one functioning fire truck to service a population of 198,000 residents when it should have four fully operational at all times, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.


This emerged during an oversight visit to the Carletonville fire station, DA Gauteng MPL Ina Cilliers said in a statement.


It was also established that the Khutsong and Fochville fire stations had no operational firefighting equipment, she said.


The “terminal decline” had been exacerbated by the fact that no drills, ongoing training, or fire prevention activities had been taking place.


This critically important function was placed under the care of the West Rand district municipality a few years ago, and fire trucks and emergency medical services (EMS) were supposed to be stationed in Carletonville, Fochville, and Khutsong.


“Currently, Khutsong stands empty while Fochville only has one ambulance,” Cilliers said.


In addition, there were no markings on fire hydrants nor fire hydrant maps available. When they were located, EMS staff could not test hydrants due to a lack of equipment and diesel.


Staff had not been issued new uniforms for three years. This included bunker gear, fire helmets, and boots. Morale was at an all-time low, she said.


Given the fact that Merafong lost more than 52 percent of its water every month, both the district and the local municipalities had been grossly negligent by allowing emergency services to decline to such a state where thousands of residents had been placed in danger.


Gauteng co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Jacob Mamabolo should intervene and ensure that those responsible for the decline were held accountable and the situation resolved as soon as possible, Cilliers said. -ANA


(File Photo: Gallo Images)

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