5 September 2019 marked the first anniversary of the deaths of 3 firefighters who responded to a call when the Bank of Lisbon building caught fire. The Gauteng Department of Health hosted a commemorative conference, on Wednesday morning, in memory of the deceased firefighters.
The event was attended by MEC Dr Bandile Masuku who was accompanied by the Department of Health staff and family members of the deceased. Masuku delivered a very brief speech that highlighted all the issues affecting workers within the health department and how the government is working to improve the conditions in which employees find themselves under.
“We as the department of health are committed to ensuring that there is adherence to the professional health and safety standards in all our facilities”, stated Masuku. He acknowledged the risks health workers face from gender based violence to even paramedics being attacked and mugged when on duty in certain locations.
He goes on to elaborate on how the burning of the Bank of Lisbon building was an eye-opening experience that prompted the department to increase safety measures as far as architecture is concerned.
“Commitment is incurred on firstly ensuring that all existing facilities are OHS compliant and secondly that our buildings are underpinned by proper resilient urban management practices which prioritise the drilling of our buildings”, he said.
Throughout the event the bravery of the deceased firefighters was reiterated by speakers who took to the stage including a spokesperson for one of the affected families. As the function came to an end Dr Masuku laid a wreath of remembrance on the building premises in honour of the fallen ‘soldiers’.