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READY FOR ACTION… One of the two impressive fire fighting vehicles stationed at Mogalakwena Complex South Concentrator. In front of the vehicle is Henk Kleynhans, emergency services coordinator at Mogalakwena Complex. He has 30 years' experience in fire fighting and emergency services and has been with the Mogalakwena emergency services department for 10 years. His experience includes rope, mountain and water rescue as well as hazardous material incident management. He lives in Chroompark with his wife Veronique and two children Ruan (7) and Miane (5).
Under the watchful eye of Mogalakwena Complex emergency services coordinator and qualified paramedic Henk Kleynhans, 28 volunteers manage even the most extreme emergency situations.
These volunteers were selected based on a stringent fitness test and provided with intensive training. Kleynhans says that the team is a tight-knit group who support each other.
“You need a special kind of person to do this job and we see ourselves as a family that work together in a team to better the lives of everyone we meet.
“People are surprised to learn that Platinum offers a free service to its host communities situated in a 50km radius of around Mogalakwena complex. We also service Mokopane town in the evenings and weekends when necessary.”
The department maintains four ambulances, two of which can handle heavy-duty emergencies, a response vehicle, a water tanker, a wildfire vehicle, a water rescue vehicle and motor boat, a rope rescue vehicle, a special hazardous material clean-up trailer and a fire rescue truck and response vehicle.
All the volunteers are Mogalakwena Complex employees and work shifts during which they are on standby for any emergency. Every ambulance shift is covered by a qualified paramedic and two ambulance crew members.
“We work closely with Netcare through the Mogalakwena Platinum Health Clinic,” says Kleynhans.
Every Monday afternoon the volunteers attend training and special information sessions, which cover topics, such as, snake bite treatment.
Kleynhans says that the team has a close working relationship with the municipal ambulance services in Mokopane as well as the special rescue police unit based in Polokwane.
“We are often called upon to assist in emergency situations or to assist with disaster management issues. We get up to 35 calls a month and find satisfaction in knowing that we are out there saving lives and making a real difference," he says.
“By far the biggest concern in the communities surrounding Mogalakwena Complex is water safety. Children love water but often are unable to swim. It is heart-breaking when we are called too late. I urge all residents to teach their children how to be safe around water,” he says.
While the team members support each other, Platinum Health has a psychologist on hand to assist the volunteers should they need it. “Our jobs are not glamorous and saving lives comes at a steep price on a personal level,” says Kleynhans. “But our love for our fellow man is such that we are 100% committed to provide the best emergence possible to the people of Mogalakwena.”
Mogalakwena Complex Ambulance: 083 455 7131
Mokopane Ambulance: 083 704 3961
Fire and Rescue Response: 083 455 7131
Paramedic Response: 083 291 1245
FIRST IN, LAST OUT… is the motto of the Mogalakwena Complex emergency services team which is made up of 28 volunteers dedicated to save lives in within the complex’s host communities. Here are Abraham Swanepoel, Stephan Botha, Lucas Malebane, James Vuma and Marthinus Emmenes (playing the victim) doing water rescue training.