A Tribute to Fire Service Veterans: Over 60 Years of Combined Dedication

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fire service retirement

Two members of the City Fire & Rescue Service have retired after a remarkable service of over 60 years combined. Alderman JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, hosted a ceremony at Roeland Street fire station to acknowledge their unwavering dedication and hard work.

Divisional Commander Steve Abrahamse

Divisional Commander Steve Abrahamse began his journey with the City’s Fire & Rescue Service in 1976. He started at the Goodwood fire station, where he spent his entire career, ending as Divisional Commander: Operations District North. Abrahamse supervised the operations of four fire stations in Goodwood, Bellville, Brackenfell, and Kraaifontein.

Abrahamse began his career in firefighting by earning his junior firefighter certificate and became a senior firefighter before working as a fire officer in Bellville. He later worked in the Windhoek Fire Department and as the Head of Fire Safety in Potchefstroom from 1990 to 1995, before returning to Cape Town. Abrahamse was the Deputy Chief Fire Officer at the Milnerton Fire Department before the City of Cape Town amalgamated the various local government authorities.

Paul van Zyl

Paul van Zyl joined the City’s Fire & Rescue Service in October 1992, after completing his apprenticeship as a heavy vehicle diesel mechanic. He worked in the workshop at Roeland Street fire station, where he performed emergency repairs and preventative maintenance on vehicles. Van Zyl also helped restore and maintain all Unimog 4×4 firefighting vehicles at the old Newlands forestry station.

Van Zyl’s hobby was crafting scale models of firefighting vehicles and restoring items on display at the Fire Museum at Roeland Street fire station. He also made farewell gifts, shields, trophies, and other items to showcase throughout the Fire & Rescue Service. After 30 years and seven months of dedicated service, Van Zyl retired.

Appreciation and Gratitude

Alderman Smith commended both Abrahamse and Van Zyl for their dedication to serving the residents of Cape Town. He applauded their hard work and perseverance, which serves as an example to their colleagues. Alderman Smith wished them well on their new journey and encouraged them to spend more time with loved ones and pursue new interests.

The City Fire & Rescue Service will deeply miss both Abrahamse and Van Zyl’s contributions. We celebrate their outstanding careers and the profound impact they have made on their communities and colleagues.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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