Wildfires are an all too common occurence in the Western CapeIf you've ever experienced a natural disaster or a large-scale emergency you'll have known desperation and heart-pounding fear. Imagine how much worse you might feel when there is no help at hand. Did you know that thousands of people in South Africa Cape endure this experience each year?
A shortage of emergency vehicles in the Western Cape can often lead to emergency services taking up to 40 minutes to arrive at disaster scenes, a terrifying reality that can even mean the difference between life and death.
However, for Newlands Rotarian, Colin Burke, a 'possibility-thinker' of the first order, worrying about the problem or even commiserating served no useful purpose. He set about helping to solve it by and, on his quest, created a form for an innovative, international collaboration.
With a significant donation from an anonymous donor and a generous contribution by the LeMarque Chown Energy Trust to set the ball rolling, an energised Burke approached the Rotary Club of Albert Park, in Melbourne, Australia to consider partnering in a matched grant
Although the grant was not to be, our friends 'down under', themselves no strangers to natural disasters, proved their Aussie mettle and established a fund-raising raffle.  The prize? .... a return-trip to South Africa! With any number of Australians ready for first-hand debate on rugby merits and demerits, and an 'expat' community wanting to visit South Africa, an incredible R185 000 was raised.
But wait folks…. There’s more to this collaboration.....
Waiting for its refit, our new Isuzu 4-Tonner Crew Cab.Isuzu Trucks SA then generously sponsored the utility vehicle (a 4-tonner crew cab, which is the same size as a fire engine) and it is being converted by Uni Power Bodies and Trailers in Durban. The conversion will result in an 'uber-capable' emergency vehicle which will be able to deal with rescues, fires, mass medical and care situations as well as providing event support.
As a result of Colin’s idea, a meeting of minds and sharing of resources, the Western Cape will soon see the commission of this much-needed emergency vehicle. It will provide services to residents from Claremont to Cape Point, including Masiphumelele, Ocean View and Redhill but is bound to be in greater demand. The vehicle will be operated by the Disaster Volunteer Group, EVS.

Watch this spot for news of the launch and check out the image below so you know what to expect.