In order to understand the current state of
affairs at the SANDF Fire Training School, it is essential to go back in its history
Until 1978, all training for SAAF Firemen
took place at SLT (presently 68 Air School) where after they wrote a trade test, which
served as a functional promotion requirement up to the rank of WO1. All training
afterwards was the responsibility of the members home unit. Members could also
further their education at SAFSI (South African Fire Services Institute) or at IFE
(Institute of Fire Engineers). The required facilities to accommodate the large amount of
NSM (National Servicemen), which was sent to the fire service twice a year, created huge
At the beginning of 1979, training was
centralized and upgraded according to the technology and came in line with South African
and International fire services. Fire training was moved to AFS Voortrekkerhoogte where
two Phase 1 courses where presented at Wallmansthall, approximately 65 km from Pretoria
with about 100 NSM and permanent force members as its target group.
It was later decided to present improved
courses (Phase 2) for permanent force members. These courses, Phase 1 & 2, were
presented according to the SAFSI Fireman and senior certificate curriculum. Numerous
members passed these courses.
A Phase 3 courses was presented in 1983/1984
that prepared the more senior members for their SAFSI Senior firemen and Graduate diploma
Many problems were identified over the years
that include the following:
Logistical problems with the presentation of the Phase 1
course with regards to accommodation, ablution-, mess-, transport-, office-, store-,
classroom-, and practical training facilities.
The old ruins at Wallmansthall, which were used during
practical training evolutions, were used up and no other facilities existed.
Although the Phase courses were presented according to SAFSI
guidelines, no government approved learning plans existed and therefore no formal
recognition could be given to successful members, except their individual reports.
There were no permanent posts for fire service instructors
and they had to be rotated often.
Because of the lack of adequate training aids for
presentations, certain problems were experienced, but these problems were slightly
elleviated with the purchase of the IFE manuals.
Origin of the Fire Training School
Because of the aforementioned
problems it was decided to investigate the possibility for the transfer of training from
AFS VTH to a unit with adequate facilities for the development of fire training.
Central Flying School Dunnotar was identified
as such a unit and training was transferred to CSF DNTR in 1986 under the name SAAF Fire
With the closure of CFS DNTR in 1991, the Fire training
school and its personnel were moved to the AF Gymnasium were it is currently situated. In
October 1995 the SAAF Log council officially changed the SAAF Fire Training Schools
name to the SANDF Fire Training School. The council also decided to launch an
investigation into the possibility of accreditation at SAESI (South African Emergency
Services Institute) for the national acknowledgement of the SANDF Fire Training School
courses. The workgroups task was completed and the SANDF Fire Training School was
accredited in July 1998.