BULAWAYO councillors have cast doubt over the capacity of the city’s fire brigade to cover emergencies following reports that several properties were destroyed by fire with the department always found wanting.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
A report from minutes of the council’s environment, management and engineering services department indicated that in most cases, the fire brigade either failed to attend to emergencies in time or rushed to the scene with inadequate equipment.
According to the report, property and veld fires contributed 80,7% of the total fires attended to last month.
Councillor Sithabile Mataka-Moyo pointed out that in some instances fire fighters had problems in identifying fire hydrants, resulting in delays.
Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said the local authority should take a cue from South Africa’s firefighting techniques to avert property loss and deaths resulting from raging fires.
“The mayor felt that there urgent need for innovation in firefighting. He had observed in South Africa that some properties had a small ball kept in a room.
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“When the property caught fire the ball automatically burst and extinguished the fire. If the system was introduced, it would help curb fire hazards in Bulawayo. He said that fire tenders always carried water which was released at high speed to control fires. Water bowsers were therefore provided as back-up service in such instances,” the minutes read.