Ricochet News

George fire station rest area gets a facelift

Oct 24, 2017
George fire station rest area gets a facelift

The Garden Route fires in June may have focussed on Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, but other fire stations, including George, were also affected during that time.

Not only did George make some of its staff and vehicles available to Knysna, the department had several fires of their own and wind storms do deal with.

This was top of mind for local company Oakhurst Insurance, whose managing director Peter Grindlay phoned up George Municipality Fire Chief Neels Barnard to hear what they could do to honour local firefighters for their daily commitment.

Following a recce visit the station the Oakhurst team, headed by Mikaila Hendrikz, involved several local businesses to help in revamping the firefighters’ rest and recreation area.

In addition to make-overs of the kitchen, sleeping quarters and bathrooms, the fire department received a proper lounge suite (which replaced one sad-looking couch), foosball table, dartboard, new fridge and cupboards.

Technical repairs and electrical installations, including air conditioning, were also made.

“Sadly, like insurance, far too often we only think of the value of the service firefighters provide when disaster strikes. We recognise the very tangible value firefighters add every day and we applaud you for it. I encourage our community as a whole to get behind our emergency services and support them wherever they can,” said Grindlay during the official reveal and handover of the revamped facilities on Friday.

Fire Chief Neels Barnard thanked Oakhurst and contributing businesses for their selfless donations and effort.

“When it comes to firefighting, priority spending tends to go toward firefighting equipment and related facilities, and our firefighters’ resting quarters were mediocre at best. Yet, firefighting takes a major toll on the body, and rest and recreational facilities are very important to rejuvenate and boost morale. We are so very grateful to the businesses who have reached out to reward the men and women who protect the people of George selflessly and with sincere commitment,” said Barnard.

The municipality thanks the following businesses that contributed towards the revamp: Peter, Mikaila, Wade and the Excellence Team at Oakhurst Insurance, The Cooling Company, Coastal Electrical, MMA Office Furniture, Frank’s Flooring, The Curtain and Blind Studio and Max Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning.

Main image: George Municipality Fire Chief Neels Barnard (right) clips the ribbon during the official handover of the revamped fire department resting quarters on Friday. Peter Grindlay (left), managing director of Oakhurst Insurance who was the main drive behind the project, and George Deputy Mayor Gerrit Pretorius looks on.

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