For the community volunteer fire-fighters of Pringle Bay and the surrounding villages 29 September 2016 was indeed a red letter day: they could at last move into, and start operating from their long-awaited new fire station.

In the words of Fire & Rescue Chief Lester Smith, the new facility was a’ ‘dream come true’ for the volunteer fire fighters of Pringle Bay and surrounds.

The inauguration of the facility was the culmination of years of planning and dreaming. The fire station will now be able to serve as a regional emergency centre and currently has eight volunteers and one truck to assist with fires in Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels.

Clayton Francis, who spearheads the Pringle Bay Volunteer Fire Fighters, said it had been a community effort over many years, of which the last few were in conjunction with the ward committee of ward 10.

The building of the much needed fire station was taken on as a ward specific project by the ward committee, which meant that the initial funds that could be made available in addition to money already raised by the community, were extremely limited. A number of unforeseen hiccups and hitches like escalating building costs, shortage of funds, adverse weather conditions, contractual interruptions, supply chain delays etc. caused the project to drag on much longer than planned.

DC Joe Schoeman (left) DC Marlu Rust, Fire Chief Lester Smith, Director of Protection Services Neville Michaels, Station Commander Clayton Frances, Mayor Rudolph Smith, DC Brian Lobb, Cllr Andrew Komani, Traffic Chief Rudi Fraser, Cllr Fanie Krige and Cllr Lindile Ntsabo.


Much of the frustration experienced by involved residents and chairperson of the Pringle Bay Ratepayers’ Association Dave Muirhead, who was a ward committee member and spokesperson for the project, was shared by Overstrand’s Kleinmond based Operations Manager Denovan van Rhodie. He was in charge of the project and whilst pressure mounted from all sides, made every effort throughout to accelerate it.

The new station includes a training room/boardroom, sleeping quarters, kitchen, small office and storage area.

The Pringle Bay Volunteer Community Fire Station is located adjacent to the community hall on Buffels Road in Pringle Bay.  The Fire Service can be contacted on 028 312 2400.

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The following are excerpts from Mayor Rudolph Smith’s speech at the official opening of the Fire Station:

Hierdie prysenswaardige projek deur ‘n groep vrywillige brandbestryders, is ‘n blyk van ‘n gemeenskap se liefde en passie vir hul dorp, asook ‘n voorbeeld van wat bereik kan word as ‘n gemeenskap, deur hul verskeie plaaslike organisasies, met die Munisipaliteit saamwerk.

I know that a lot of blood, sweat and tears have also been expended in the process!

Hierdie brandweerstasie is ‘n welkome toevoeging tot die brandweer- en ander nooddienste in ons area, en sal die tweede dienspunt van sy soort in die Overstand wees.

As een van Suid-Afrika se mees populêre (gewildste) toeristebestemmings, is nooddienste in hierdie gebied van die uiterste belang.

Almal wat hulself reeds in ‘n ongeluk of ‘n noodsituasie bevind het, sal kan getuig hoe skielik dit gebeur en hoe noodsaaklik vinnige en bekwame hulp is in sulke omstandighede is. 

’n Mens dink dan ook aan lewens wat verlore kan gaan, eiendomme en persoonlike  besittings, wat vernietig word weens brande en wat ‘n las op openbare hulpbronne plaas.

Dit gee onder meer perspektief aan die belangrikheid van hierdie nooddiens en die noodsaaklikheid vir goed toegeruste stasies wat bydra tot die effektiwiteit (doeltreffendheid van die diens; want ‘n lewe wat verloor (word) is, is een lewe te veel – veral as dit voorkom kon gewees het.

Die hoofadministrasie vir die brandweerdiens in ons gebied is in Hermanus geleë en hierdie brandweerstasie sal nou onder hul leiding funksioneer.

Pringlebaai se brandweerstasie sal dus nou die hele Hangklipstreek kan bedien deur saam te werk met plaaslike nooddienste en rampsbestuurspanne van verskeie organisasies wat in hierdie area bedryf word.

Dit is ‘n toonbeeld van die deurlopende toewyding  van die Overstrand Munisipaliteit om met belanghebbendes in die gemeenskappe saam te werk en hulle te ondersteun met die verkryging en uitbreiding van broodnodige hulpbronne om sodoende meer mense te kan bereik.

Ons glo dat plaaslike aksies, soos hierdie inisiatief,‘n groot bydrae maak in die skepping en die bou van veiliger en volhoubare gemeenskappe.

Hierdie brandweerstasie is een van die eerste gemeenskapsinisiatiewe van sy soort in ons gebied en help ongelooflik baie om die belastingbetaler se bydrae te sterk.

As ‘n ontwikkelende land is ’n algemene gebrek en behoefte aan infrastruktuur een van ons grootste struikelblokke in die opheffing van die lewenstandaarde van ons groeiende bevolking.

Dit  is egter nie ‘n struikelblok wat die regering of openbare instellings alleen kan aanpak nie. Wat ons benodig is meer inisiatiewe en projekte soos hierdie, waar private organisasies en individue leiding neem en help om ontwikkeling te verseker, terwyl ons as regeringsinstansies die volhoubaarheid daarvan kan bestuur.

Ek moedig dus alle belanghebbendes aan om saam te werk in vennootskappe om dié brandweerstasie en hul dienste asook soortgelyke projekte te ondersteun, want ons glo groter veiligheid word verseker deur samewerking en ook dat veiligheid ons gesamentlike verantwoordelikheid is.

On that note it is my great honour to declare Pringle Bay Fire Station operational!”

PHOTOS (taken by Anandi Rust):

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