• Each year we pay tribute to the heroes in blue who have paid the highest price. This year was no exception. We tell you a short story about each of these latest heroes – refer to our article published from p 32 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    Each year we pay tribute to the heroes in blue who have paid the highest price. This year was no exception. We tell you a short story about each of these latest heroes – refer to our article published from p 32 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • The weather has caused havoc in large parts of the world in recent times – resulting a huge loss of lives. Ever thought about how you would react during a disaster? Read our article published from p 14 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    The weather has caused havoc in large parts of the world in recent times – resulting a huge loss of lives. Ever thought about how you would react during a disaster? Read our article published from p 14 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • When a disaster strikes, the affected community is dependent on men and women who are willing to leave everything at home to search for survivors and treat the injured. Such are the men and women from Rescue SA – we tell you more about these heroes in our article published from p 22 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

    When a disaster strikes, the affected community is dependent on men and women who are willing to leave everything at home to search for survivors and treat the injured. Such are the men and women from Rescue SA – we tell you more about these heroes in our article published from p 22 in the October 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Article by Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos provided by Rescue SA

On 11 March 2011 at 14:46, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, so powerful that it shifted the earth on its axis by 10 cm, struck Japan. Less than an hour later, the first of many tsunami waves hit Japan's coastline. These waves reached run-up heights (the distance that the wave surges inland above sea level) of up to 39 m at Miyako city and travelled inland as far as 10 km in Sendai. The tsunami flooded an estimated area of approximately 561 km2 in Japan. The electrical power and backup generators at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were overwhelmed by the tsunami and the plant lost its cooling capabilities. This resulted in a level-7 nuclear meltdown and the release of radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean (www.livescience.com/39110-japan-2011-earthquake-tsunami-facts.html). In 2017, six years after the earthquake and tsunami, the final death toll stood at 15 893, with 2553 people unaccounted for (www.asahi.com/ ajw/articles/AJ201703110042.html).

When natural disasters or man-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to find victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is critical and the ability to quickly detect living victims greatly increases the chances of rescue and survival. In such a situation, the first thing to do is to activate search and rescue teams, which consist of highly trained volunteers. In South Africa there are a number of NGOs, such as the Red Cross and Gift of the Givers, which respond to disaster areas and do excellent work by helping the victims. Servamus spoke to Mr Ian Scher, CEO of Rescue South Africa, one of the NGOs that respond to disasters, to learn more about the work they do. Rescue South Africa sent a rescue team of 50 members on 15 March 2011 to assist in the response to the 2011 Japan earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami.

The beginning
Mr Scher told us that after a group of volunteers went to India and Turkey to assist with search and rescue operations following earthquakes, the concept of Rescue South Africa was born. In 2001, an NGO was registered and the big build-up started. The team needed to get specialised rescue equipment and other necessities such as mobile/veld kitchens and toilets together to make responding to disaster areas possible.

Rescue South Africa approached USAID to request funding for training. The funding was provided and two teams from OFDA (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance) were sent to South Africa to train a selected group of professional firefighters. This was a part of their mission to assist vulnerable populations in training resources to build resilience and strengthen their own ability to respond to emergencies. Rescue South Africa strategically selected the delegates to ensure maximum impact of this training opportunity. A total of 26 firefighters, who were also involved in training in their daily jobs, were selected and trained. This group of 26 went on to train thousands of South Africans to the level of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) technicians.

Training
Rescue South Africa's instructors and training material have been accredited by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to ensure a tertiary institution benchmark. This benchmark not only ensures the international standard of Rescue South Africa's training solution - it also entrenches the standardisation of training required to ensure uniformity and team cohesion in the future. Career firefighters are accredited by UJ to do practical training with delegates. These instructors are also qualified safety officers.
The 15-week training course consists of theory and practical work and covers various rescue topics such as high angles, confined spaces, swift water, hazardous chemicals, industrial and agricultural rescue, trenches, structural collapse rescue, fire search and rescue and training the trainer. Students write a theoretical exam and also do a practical examination during which they are evaluated on their knowledge of using the equipment properly. As search and rescue is all about teamwork, they also do group tasks during which they have to build specific wooden structures (shoring), which are typical of those built when a rescue team deals with unsafe structures after a disaster, to ensure their safety.

********************

[This is only an extract of an article published on pp 22-27 in Servamus: October 2017. The rest of this very interesting article looks at the equipment used; what it takes to deploy a team after a rescue as well as the international acknowledgement this team has received for the work they do during disasters. Contact Servamus’s offices to request the rest of this interesting article by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning (012) 345 4660/22.]

Servamus - October 2017

Whenever a disaster strikes, such as the fires that resulted in massive destruction in Knysna during June 2017, an earthquake in Italy or a tsunami in Japan, thousands of people need help.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
June 2017: Knysna and its surrounding areas - devastating fires. August 2017: Houston, Texas - extreme floods.
By Annalise Kempen
On 11 March 2011 at 14:46, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, so powerful that it shifted the earth on its axis by 10 cm, struck Japan.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
"In many countries, climate change is magnifying risks and increasing the cost of disasters, a trend seen in South Africa given the current drought, the severe weather events and flooding experienced each year."
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - October 2017

There are two recent reported cases regarding all the dos and the don'ts regarding extradition (Afrikaans: "uitlewering").
Read More - S V Sebofi 2015 (2) SACR 179 (GJ)
Mr Sebofi (the accused) was convicted on two counts of rape by the regional court in Roodepoort (the trial court), and sentenced to life incarceration.
Read More - Chala and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), KwaZulu-Natal and Another 2015 (2) SACR 283 (KZP)
The proviso (Afrikaans: “voorbehoud”) to section 93ter(1) of the Magistrates’ Court Act 32 of 1944 provides as follows:
Read More - S V Tladi and Others 2016 (1) SACR 424 (GP)
The three accused persons in this case were each convicted in the regional court (“the trial court”) on one count of kidnapping and one count of rape.
Read More - S V Masoka and Another 2015 (2) SACR 268 (ECP)
Two accused persons were standing trial before the magistrates’ court in Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape on a charge of robbery.

Letters - October 2017

Hierdie jaar het vir ons twee broers met baie nuwe uitdagings begin. Ons het in Januarie ons 50ste verjaarsdag in Namibië gaan vier en as ons gedink het dat dit die hoogtepunt was, lê daar toe ‘n baie groter uitdaging op ons pad.
Between 14 and 18 August 2017, members of Westville SAPS competed in the KZN Rock and Surf angling competition held near the Wild Coast bridge, Port Edward.
It saddens me that every year South African Police Service members continue to succumb to the brutal onslaught on their lives.
October 2017 Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.