Everyone needs a real-life hero! Watkins is celebrating the Head of Operations – District West: Fire and Rescue Service, Arlene Wehr, the first woman to be appointed in this operational role since the establishment of Fire and Rescue in the mid 1800’s.
Heading the central station on Roeland Street, Cape Town, her career in Fire Fighting and Rescue started 1996 when she gave up her desk job as an Accountant to follow in the footsteps of her brother. Being a wife and a mother of three young children; working strenuous hours whilst studying, did come with challenges – but with the unconditional support of her husband and mother, Arlene was able to break the “glass (ceiling)”. Being a Firefighter is definitely not for the fainthearted as lives and properties are constantly at risk. The job must get done and for that one needs to be physically fit as well as level headed in order to react, save and protect. This can only be achieved with the support and individual input of each roll player in the firefighting team.
With the recent devastating Table Mountain fires, the Western Cape firefighting and rescue efforts of the logistical and operational teams were put to the test yet again. Fortunately, by GRACE and the coordinated efforts of the dedicated women and men; lives, vegetation and many properties could be saved. Unfortunately, the loss of certain heritage buildings in the wake of the ‘perfect storm’ created by the fire remained unescapable.
Being able to serve the community and to empower others, is something that lies close to Arlene’s heart. There is a sensitive, respectful and endearing balance that must be kept with oneself, family, work and the community.
During this stressful time of a world-wide pandemic, fires and emergencies, Watkins salutes Arlene Wehr and the Firefighting and Logistical Teams for their unconditional hard work and perseverance.
For the month of June, Watkins will donate R1 for every special purchased in the June 2021 Specials Catalogue (26 May 2021 to 30 June 2021) to the Western Cape Fire Fighters Association