Overberg FPA gets the green light

Fire Protection Associations (FPAs) throughout the Overberg will now be able to join a single FPA that will operate across the entire region. The proposal to create a single, Overberg FPA was finally given the go-ahead at an Overberg District Municipality Fire Working Group meeting, held in Bredasdorp on 19 September.

According to Reinard Geldenhuys, Manager: Protection Services at the municipality, 70 percent of FPAs in the Overberg were willing to join. Four major FPAs in particular supported the proposal. These are FPAs operating in the Groenlandberg, Ruggens, Bredasdorp Vlakte and the Theewaterskloof. However, Geldenhuys said that FPAs were not compelled to join, and would still receive support from the fire department.

The decision to form one FPA across the Overberg has had mixed reaction. Peter Dorrington of the Umbrella FPA, said having a larger membership makes it financially possible for an FPA to appoint a manager to coordinate planning, monitoring and fire management. Smaller FPAs did not have sufficient funding to appoint a manager.

FPAs who would like to join the Overberg FPA will meet at an inaugural meeting on 9 October in Bredasdorp. Before this, interested individual FPAs will need their members to agree to dissolve. The representative of each such FPA would need to bring a letter with them to the inaugural meeting confirming their intention to dissolve. From here, a new Overberg FPA committee will be selected, which will be responsible for developing a new Constitution and writing a business plan.

Dorrington also detailed the four runways available for fire-fighting planes during the oncoming fire season. These are in Bredasdorp, Pearly Beach, Andrew’s Field and at the Black Oystercatcher. They are also investigating a runway in Stanford and Gansbaai to assist with fires in that region. A rescue helicopter will also be available between 15 December and 15 January, to cover life-saving risks.

For more information, contact Reinard Geldenhuys: 028 425 1690, or email rgeldenhuys@odm.org.za.

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