BRITISH COLUMBIA

South African Firefighters Greet Canadians A Capella-Style

08/17/2015 05:24 EDT | Updated 08/17/2015 05:59 EDT
South African deployment

On August 6, 2015 a group of 24 South African Type 1 sustained action firefighters, plus an agency representative, arrived in B.C. after finishing a two week deployment in Alberta. These personnel will be assisting with wildfire activity in the province. They greeted BC Wildfire Service personnel with a traditional South African song. This deployment is a unique opportunity for the Province to conduct a trial evaluation of these firefighting personnel and strengthen ties with our international partners. Costs associated with these out-of-country resources are mostly absorbed by other jurisdictions through mutual aid agreements. The 24 firefighters will be paired with a 20-person sustained action unit crew from the BC Wildfire Service and will work together in unison. This pairing will allow for one-on-one orientation, supervision and evaluation. These out-of-country personnel will be deployed for 14 days before returning to South Africa.

Posted by BC Forest Fire Info on Monday, August 10, 2015

A South African crew helping B.C. fight its wildfires is making a lasting impression — through their work and their music.

When they arrived in B.C. earlier this month, the firefighters greeted provincial officials with a traditional South African song, which was captured on video. (Watch above.)

south african firefighters

"Our upbeat and always happy South African crews with their song and dance have been well received in Canada, and they have set positive examples to the local and international crews on how to build strong morale and teamwork," the group's managing director Llewellyn Pillay told a South African website.

The firefighters have been in Canada since July 21 as part of a resource-sharing deal between the two countries. Crews were initially sent to the Edmonton area, and a second crew was later deployed to help in B.C.

The Alberta-based crews also gave their Canadian counterparts an a capella greeting, reports CBC News.

"This job is very important to us because I'm able to save another country," firefighter Constance Mavuso, who is visiting Canada for the first time, told the outlet.

The group will return home by Aug. 21.

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