Specialist Wildfire Crew

The Challenge

Currently within the South African wildfire industry there is a lack of top level, wildfire focused, professional firefighting ground crews with full time leadership. Particularly crews that can have a consistently high positive impact on the initial phases of a wildfire, that can be relied upon to carry out complex strategic operations and who maintain organisational independence, allowing them to be geographically flexible while being hassle free to Incident Commanders or Overhead.

The Solution

In order to address this critical resource deficiency, Vulcan Wildfire Management (Pty) Ltd was developed, with a comprehensive strategy and business development model which worked towards the objective of fully developing an integrated wildfire service offering – to be contracted to municipalities, landowning organisations, private landowners and FPAs. A key aspect of this strategy involved attracting and retaining the best firefighters, investing in developing their skills, and providing an environment for a successful wildfire career path.

Vulcan Wildfire Management was appointed by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape through its Chief Directorate: Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services to operate a crew, the first of its kind, from 1 December 2015 – 30 April 2016. Vulcan delivered a service of an exceptionally high standard. Despite the fire contract being seasonal (5 months), Vulcan successfully maintained crew operations for a full 12 month period applying the crews specialist skills to Integrated Fire Management tasks. They demonstrated a commitment to developing crew members and evolving a system allowing for full time firefighting crews to be involved in both suppression and risk mitigation work.

"A hard working team environment, focusing on skills development and shaping career specialists proficient in all areas of wildfire management"

Vulcan Wildfire Management

"When it comes to saving your home from wildfire, details matter."

Vulcan Wildfire Management

%

Focused on Career Development

Members of the First Specialist Crew

Wildfire Incidents Attended in first 5 months (Often Multiple Days)

Prescribed and Fuel Reduction Burn Days in First Year of Operations

Vulcan Wildfire Management (Pty) Ltd

Vulcan Wildfire Management (Pty) Ltd (Vulcan) is a social enterprise company and the brainchild of Ryan Heydenrych and Patrick Ryan. Its service offering, while working in consultation and partnership with local industry role players, includes a full spectrum of wildfire suppression and integrated wildfire management services and represents:

  • A private company with a social enterprise philosophy.
  • Working in synergy with the wildfire industry.
  • Focussing on developing wildfire career paths.
  • Attracting like minded, driven and wildfire focussed individuals.
  • Serving communities affected by wildfire.
  • Applying business strategy to maximise improvements in human and environmental
    well-being.

First Specialist Crew

A crew which pioneered the way for specilaist crews in South Africa. Setting the standard for excellence and opening eyes to the potential of what wildfire crews in South Africa can achieve. Forging the way forward is no easy task and this team, through hard work, skill, grit and determination met and exceeded all their objectives.

Ryan Heydenrych
Patrick Ryan
Luncedo Rorwane
Bahati David Nsengiyumva
Hakirimana Omar
Jericho Nduwa
Ntlahla Ndinisa
Songeso Fobosi
Sesethu Stume
Dumisani Zantsi

Luncedo Rorwane – Vulcan Crew Leader

Luncedo performed exceptionally well in this challenging leadership position. His leadership ability ensured the crew mojo was always high. His role was to provide day-to-day leadership for crew members and keep the captain or commander informed on all aspects related to safe and effective crew operations. Luncedo set the standard for what is expected of a specialist crew leader.

Highly Effective Wildfire Response

Elite firefighting crews specialising in initial attack and complex operations. Self-sufficient, dedicated and motivated crew options for Incident Commanders. There are significant advantages in containing a wildfire in the initial attack stage and this affects both the possible environmental and financial impacts of a large devastating wildfire. The Vulcan crew were capable of performing operational tasks of the highest complexity and their professionalism allowed for the successful completion of complex tactical operations.

Communication leads to connections, community and mutual value