Since the 22nd of October, Fire and the Emergency services personnel have been furiously fighting raging fires in the Garden Route region with the immediate risk to the town of George itself being contained. A Disaster Management Centre was set up almost immediately in the heart of George to coordinate the combined efforts of the 579 people who have joined from around the country to fight the fires.
For the George-based insurance company, Oakhurst Insurance, who have actively supported local firefighters in the past jumped at the opportunity to do so once again.
Oakhurst’s Managing Executive, Peter Grindlay, has been on the ground with firefighting personnel and met with Gerhard Otto Head of Disaster Management at the Garden Route Municipality along with various other emergency services teams to support where ever possible.
Peter commented “If there’s something about the George Fire experience that I’ve learned after the past few days, it’s that Firefighting is about, team work, being on the ground at the coal face, strategic decision making, community support and the co-ordinated efforts of everyone involved, this in the face of imminent disaster. But, more than that, what I witnessed was that we as a town are in exceptionally capable hands with our local Emergency services, and that we owe these heroes a massive debt of gratitude for how they have managed what could have been an absolute disaster.”
There’s a belief amongst firefighters that it takes an entire community to fight a fire. This has certainly been the case with the local community playing a major role in indirectly keeping the fires at bay by providing our fire and emergency services teams with continued support. From individuals to business owners the donations of food, drink and accommodation along with words of praise have been overwhelming.
The community has been encouraged to check the Disaster Management Centre’s website or contact them on 044 805 5071 for accurate intel.