Firefighter fun at awareness day

Firefighters tackle the flames on the ground, beating it down with specialised equipment.

The Volunteer Wildfire Services’ (VWS) annual Fire and Fynbos Awareness Day, which will be hosted at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West on Saturday November 6, from 9am, is an opportunity for the whole family to experience a fun, informative day out.

“We host this awareness day once a year to give the community an opportunity to interact with the volunteer firefighters, to learn more about what we do and why we do it, and to have some fun,” says Wayne van den Heuvel, station manager of the VWS Jonkershoek base outside Stellenbosch .

There will be a number of exciting activities and exhibitions for children of all ages – even the grown up ones.

Highlights include a pumps and hoses area where children can douse flame targets with water from high pressure hoses, a climbing wall, and rides on “Big Red”, the vintage fire truck complete with ladders and sirens.

Snakes and raptors will be on display, with snake shows at 11am and 3pm. There will also be a soccer-with-beaters track, tug-of-war competitions, face-painting, a treasure hunt and a target area where potential firefighters can test their mop up skills, all with many prizes to be won.

Those who would like to show off other “fire skills” are welcome to enter the braai competition in teams of two (one person should be over 18). There will be prizes for the best meal, best dressed team, best gees and best decorated stand, as well as a lucky draw.

Contestants can present anything cooked over an open fire, whether it be braaivleis, potjiekos, bread, vegetables or dessert. Entry for the braai competition is R300, and braaiers can enter by sending an email to day.braaicomp@vws.org.za, or on the day. The braai competition starts at 9am.

Ever wondered what it is like to be a wildfire firefighter? Then be at Lourensford at 10am to tackle the fireman’s challenge and put yourself to the test.

For those who’d rather watch there will be two wildfire firefighting displays – at noon and 2pm – to demonstrate how a team of wildfire firefighters go about fighting the fire while on the fire line. This will include a pump and hoses drill.

Children and adults alike will be able to have their photos taken with the VWS Fire Chief and the afternoon will end with the famous VWS Foam Party at 3.30pm.

Food, snacks and drinks will be sold at the event, so no-one needs to go home hungry. Entry to the venue is free, but there will be charges for certain activities. Visit Volunteer Wildfire Services on Facebook for more information.