No debriefing after fatal Joburg blaze‚ firefighters claim

The Johannesburg fireman who found the lifeless bodies of two of his colleagues inside the Bank of Lisbon building was not debriefed on what happened to cause the men – and another who fell from the 23rd floor – to lose their lives.

In fact‚ it emerged on Thursday‚ despite three weeks passing since the deadly downtown Johannesburg blaze‚ firefighters’ supervisors are yet to debrief them and not all of them have had counselling.

“To be honest‚ I don’t know about a debriefing. Two hours after the rescue‚ I left. I’m not sure if there was a debriefing after that‚” said Tebogo Khoduga‚ who discovered the bodies of two of his colleagues when he rushed into the building to try and save them.

“But we have to have a debriefing to say what we did right and what we did wrong‚” he said.

His colleague‚ Muzikayise Zwane‚ said: “If it [the debriefing] happened‚ they should have called us‚ the people who were on scene. If they didn’t call us‚ it means it hasn’t happened.”

Zwane had witnessed how their third colleague lay sprawled on the ground after falling from the 23rd floor. He has not yet had any counselling following the ordeal‚ but had instead already returned to work.

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