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NEW EMS CHIEF FIRED UP AS HE TAKES CHARGE

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Brümilda Swartbooi

There’s a new fire chief in town. Andries Mucavele steps into a new role as Chief of Emergency Management Service (EMS) in the City of Johannesburg with a passion for fire safety and commitment to community service, bringing 23 years of experience and fresh perspectives to the department.


Mucavele was appointed in April and officially sworn in during a ceremony at Florida Fire Station in Roodepoort on 27 June 2024, where he took the oath.

“I, Andries Mucavele, solely undertake to serve my city with loyalty, courage, dignity, and honour. I will perform my duties with zeal and diligence and set a good example to all those under my command. I hereby formally take over command of the City of Johannesburg.”


He characterised his first three months in office as “exciting yet challenging”. “The past three months have been a work in progress, trying to understand what needs to be done.”


He expressed his excitement and gratitude for the role. “I am excited and delighted to take charge of the command of CoJ EMS. The City has always been one of the biggest and leading EMS in the world. I am grateful and humbled to be afforded an opportunity to join the leading team of senior managers within the City as Chief Fire Officer,” he said.


Mucavele’s priorities include implementing a proactive approach, tackling the shortage of fire engines and preventing fires and initiating awareness initiatives in communities. Mucavele said the promotion provided him with the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the challenging environment of EMS and incidents in the City. He openly acknowledged that EMS was not immune to challenges and his ability to lead will be tested. 


“The shortage of fire engines and rescue vehicles remains a top priority. The number of fire incidents in the City, especially the inner city and informal settlements, remains unstable, with new trends emerging. Preventing fires will be another main objective,” he added. 


Mucavele joined fire services at 22 in 2001 at the then Benoni Fire and Emergency Services, now part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. In 2002, he was appointed as firefighter at the City of Joburg’s EMS. 


In 2005, he was recruited back to Ekurhuleni as a Platoon Commander. His dedication paid off, and in 2008, he returned to the City’s EMS as a Station Commander. In 2011, he was appointed Divisional Chief, and in 2016, Deputy Director Operations. By 2022, he became Director Operations. In 2013, he briefly acted as Chief of EMS before being appointed Head of Department Public Safety, and finally, Chief of EMS in April 2024.


Outside of work, the Mpumalanga-bred Mucavele enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his family. As a parting shot, he added: “I commit to working together with everyone. I pray to remain grounded and not forget where I come from.”

SOURCED FROM THE JOBURG WEBSITE.

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