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Preparing for the fire season

30 November 2011

The inaugural ‘SA LITHO & VWS Fire Fighting Training Initiative’ took place on the 3rd of September 2011 at Sonop Wine Farm in Paarl. SA LITHO label printers is a proud sponsor of the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) and collectively started the initiative to raise awareness of firefighting and the education and prevention thereof. Through this sponsorship, SA LITHO is supporting their clients many of whom are situated next to high wildfire risk areas.


A group of 26 farmers and farm workers from Bernheim, Keurfontein, Vondeling Wines, Uitkyk and Sonop participated in the VWS Training Initiative. The day kicked off at 8h30 am with fresh muffins and a glass of juice while everybody got to know each other. Thereafter VWS gave an illustration to the trainees on protective clothing and equipment that is used during firefighting. The workers were taught effective water hosing techniques, including folding and carrying the hose correctly. They were educated on proper fire smothering techniques including the importance of teamwork while fighting a fire. The trainees were then put to the test with their newly acquired skills and had to demonstrate to the VWS team what they have learned. After all the hard work and excitement, everyone was hungry and enjoyed a great meal supplied by SA LITHO. The day ended with an informative presentation by the VWS team, some spot prizes and the handing over of well-earned participation certificates to the trainees.


Johan Barnard, owner of Sonop Wine Farm thanked SA LITHO in conjunction with VWS for a very good day of firefighting training. Johan added, “The farmers and farm workers that were present will benefit tremendously from this training, especially this year with the little rainfall that we have had.”


Hayley Hagen, the VWS Jonkershoek Station Manager mentions, “This exciting partnership has provided us with the valuable opportunity of sharing our knowledge and skills with farmers and workers who live on the edge of the fire prone veld and mountains.  As with our crews on the line, our emphasis is on ‘safety first and then fight fire!’ and most importantly, teamwork!  Fighting fires in a team is your most effective tool this summer.”

SA LITHO hopes that this training initiative was the first of many to come. It took hard work, precious time and commitment from the farmworkers, but the true value of the training received will be realized once faced with a threatening farm fire and the need to be able to react in a quick and efficient manner.


SA LITHO invites any farm owner who would like to receive such training for its farmworkers during the winter months of 2012 to contact Peter Sproul, Sales Director of SA LITHO, on 021 929 6400 or e-mail peters@salitho.co.za to book a date.






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