Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Visit Public Safety Office in West Rand

A group of four Project HOPE volunteers are currently working on a pilot volunteer program focusing on chronic disease assessment in the South African settlement of Zenzele. Below three time volunteer Michelle Pena describes her time spent at a fire and the EMS station in the West Rand.

On Friday, Brian and I had the opportunity to meet with the director of the Public Safety Office of the Randfontein Branch in the West Rand district. We had been asked to observe the goings on at the fire and EMS station. The branch director welcomed us kindly, taking time out of a very busy schedule to talk about the hazards and dangers in his coverage area, resources for response, continuing education for his staff, and many other topics. We were taken on a tour of Randfontein, reviewed the district's emergency management protocol and hazard vulnerability assessment, and sat in on the station's dispatch center.

The day was full of meeting new people and learning more about South Africa. Everyone I met was kind and engaging, asking many questions about the USA, what we were doing in South Africa, and if I liked the country. After one week here, I have yet to meet someone who has not been extremely kind to me. It has certainly been a welcoming feeling.

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