21 Nov Front Shop, 01 October 2013 p1
Recognising our heroes

21 Nov Front Shop, 01 October 2013 p2
Recognising our heroes



A large team of passionate and committed people make the Centrum® Guardian Project possible.


2012 Centrum® Guardian Project

The Finalists

Stamina (Winner 2012)

Rip Current Rescue, Wilderness

The focus and stamina of rescue swimmer Torsten Henschel saves a 15-year-old boy from drowning after a rip current pulls him out to a severe and treacherous sea. 


Shack Fire Rescue, Lansdowne

Fire fighter Jongikhaya Nombakuse crawls through waterlogged, exposed electrical wires and flames fuelled by strong winds to rescue an old man from his burning shack.


Burning Car Extrication, Randburg

Advanced Life Support Paramedic Wayne Broodryk's brave and immediate action saves an unconscious man trapped in a burning car from certain death.


Lives Saved by 15-year-old Lifeguard, Umhlanga

Lifesaver, Carey Glover's initiative saves not one, but several lives off the Umhlanga coast in peak season.

The Semi-Finalists


Tourists Rescued at Sea, Cape Town

Off duty fire fighter Hakeem Meyer’s mental and physical agility saves three tourists from certain drowning. 


River Rescue, Vaal River

Fire fighters Eggberry and Kruger brave the raging Vaal River in full flood and overcome dangerous obstacles to save a trapped fisherman.


Drowned 1-Year-Old Resuscitated, Klerksdorp

Early intervention and the determination of a team of paramedics give a 1-year-old drowning victim a fighting chance at survival.


Concrete Structure Collapse Recovery, Stellenbosch

Fire, medical and rescue personnel endure for hours to rescue vagrant men trapped under a collapsed building.


Man Extricated from Industrial Machine, Johannesburg

Purpose, expertise and hours of painstaking concentration by a team of fire fighters saves a critical patient trapped in an industrial machine at a packaging plant.


Scrap-Yard Fire Response, Vereeniging

Bennie van der Wath's instinctive reaction saves the life of a fellow fire fighter when gas cylinders explode in what was reported to be a simple veld fire.


Mauled 3-Year-Old Stabilized, Belhar

The reflexes and quick action by a team of fire fighters saves the life of a 3-year-old dog attack victim in critical condition.


Stowaway Search Operation, Richards Bay

Paramedic Richard Schouten's skill and experience saves the life of a stowaway detection officer in grave danger.


Submerged Car in River Rescue, Wadeville

Sheer strength from a team of fire fighters saves a father and daughter from drowning in their submerged car.


Large Scale Flood Response, Limpopo and Mpumalanga

During floods in the low-veld region, 72 hours of sustained, coordinated and precise effort by several agencies result in a world-class operation where over 300 people are evacuated and 55 critical rescues performed.


Swamp Rescue of Young Boy, Port Elizabeth

Fire fighter Claassen's tenacity saves a young boy from drowning in a muddy marsh after a car accident lands the occupants deep into the swamp.


Flat Fire Evacuation, Matlosana

A small, passionate team of fire fighters responds to a fire at a block of flats saving forty trapped residents, one by one.

2011 Centrum® Guardian Project

The Finalists

PASSION (Winner 2011)

Passion – Deadly Mountain Forest Fire

The Eden District Municipality fire department was summoned to assist the MTO plantation – where a number of factors conspired to create a deadly, perfect firestorm. This ultimate disaster scenario endangered several fire fighters and hand fire crew - trapped in a maelstrom of flames. Deputy Fire Chief Deon van Wyk had to rapidly create a series of firebreaks and back-burns with incredible precision, timing and speed. Van Wyk's passion for his crew, experience, technical skill and sheer stamina saved several lives that day. 


Strength – Children Rescued from Waterfall

A harmless sightseeing trip turned into a nightmare for two teenage boys when they found themselves trapped by the icy, violent rage of a waterfall in full force. With incredible physical, mental and emotional strength, a volunteer National Sea Rescue Institute team took on the formidable waters to bring the boys out alive.


Initiative – Rescued from Burning Block of Flats

Young Shimmy Sefatsa has been on the job for only 17 months. As a learner fire fighter, he has been taught to follow orders and take instruction. But one morning, Shimmy was first at the scene of a fire at a block of flats. Shimmy took initiative and immediate action, saving the lives of two trapped residents.


Courage – Angry Bees Attack Babies

In the early summer of 2010, a local paramedic confronted what for many people would be the worst of nightmares – an attack by a swarm of angry bees. Bravely putting his own fears aside he went to the rescue of two small babies.


Endurance – Fire Tragedy at an Old Age Home

While attempting to always remain as dispassionate and uninvolved as possible, every rescue worker has one experience or event that will linger in their memories for years to come. For Ekurhuleni rescue personnel, this event occurred on the night of 1 August 2010. An extraordinary team effort taxed the training, skill and limits of endurance of a remarkable group effort. An incredible community spirit came to the fore in an extraordinary mixture of triumph and tragedy.

2010 Centrum® Guardian Project

The Finalists

Charl, Deon Egnall (Winners 2010)

Trio saved from raging river

Charl Nieuwoudt, Deon Alberts and Egnall Brown, three Swift Water Rescue Technicians from Overberg Fire and Rescue and Provincial Ambulance Services, rescued a man, woman and two year old child from the raging Breede River.

Mervyn van Ginkel

Hospital Tragedy Averted

Mervyn van Ginkel, Leading Fire Fighter and High Angle Rescuer, Innesdale Fire Station, Pretoria, rescued a teenage girl who tried to jump off the 3rd floor of a district hospital building.


David and Goliath water rescue

Thulisile Nkosi, Fire Fighter, Leon Ferreira Fire Station, Boksburg, jumped into a dam to pull a drowning man from a vehicle.


Sailors rescued at sea

Sean Serfontein, Volunteer Rescue Swimmer, National Sea Rescue Institute Durban, was lowered by helicopter into turbulent seas to save 17 sailors from a sinking ship.

Vinton, George & Andries

Horror double decker bus crash

Vinton Alfreds, George Hilton and Andries van den Berg, Fire Fighters and Crew Commanders from Alberton and Thokoza Fire Stations, saved a teenage girl trapped under a double-decker bus.

2009 Centrum® Guardian Project

The Finalists

Mlungiseleli (Winner 2009)

Horror crash

Mlungiseleli Ciko, Fire Fighter and Shift Commander, Fire and Emergency Services, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, treated casualties of a 16-seater taxi accident.

Pieter & Peet

Mine evacuation

Pieter Pieterse, Intermediate Life Support Paramedic, and Peet Laubscher, Basic Life Support Paramedic, Netcare 911 Gauteng, assisted in the evacuation of 2600 mineworkers trapped underground.

JJ Viljoen

Truck Rescue

J.J. Viljoen, Fire Fighter and Divisional Chief, City of Joburg EMS, extricated driver from a crashed cement truck.


Drowning father

Shaun Paul, Advanced Life Support Paramedic and Operations Manager, Netcare 911, Ballito, saved a drowning father from turbulent seas.

Mossie & Donald

Children rescued at sea

Alta “Mossie” Haschick and Donald Olivier, Volunteer Rescue Swimmers, National Sea Rescue Institute, rescued drowning school children from stormy seas.

2008 Centrum® Guardian Project

The Finalists

Andre Fletcher (Winner 2008)

Sea rescue

Volunteer Sea Rescue Swimmer Andre Fletcher, National Sea Rescue Institute, Durban Station 5, saved crew of a yacht from turbulent seas.

Andre Nel and Tshwane Shift 2

Burning building

Andre Nel and Tshwane Shift 2 (Gordon Kuhn, JJ Mahlangu, Collin Kekana, Japie Breytenbach and Joel Mokobodi) ran into a blazing building and saved countless lives.

Jannie Meiring & Mamakgowa Rataemane

Plane crash

Netcare 911 Ambulance Emergency Assistants, Jannie Meiring and Mamakgowa Rataemane, risked their lives to save two men trapped inside a crashed plane.

Abel Sethole and Life Mathebula

Car crash

Netcare 911 Basic Life Support personnel, Abel Sethole and Life Mathebula, went beyond the call of duty to rescue an unconscious man from a dangerous burning car wreck.

Adel Supra

Cliff car crash

Off-duty Platoon Commander Adel Supra of the Cape Winelands Fire Department rushed to the aid of a man whose car had veered off the road and fallen forty meters down a cliff.

2008 Centrum® Guardian Pilot Project

The Finalists

Themba Tshemese (Winner 2008 Pilot)

Shop Fire

On his way back from ambulance duties, volunteer fire fighter Themba Tshemese noticed smoke coming from a shop. Little did he know that a family, including a six month old baby, were locked inside.

Sanet de la Porte


Paramedic Sanet de la Porté received a call for a drowning at the Vaal River, but when she arrived at the scene she found a lady unable to swim, trying desperately to rescue her drowned boyfriend

Marcel ‘Moz’ Nordin

Burning building

While attending another call, paramedic Marcel “Moz” Nordin and his partner noticed a plume of smoke coming from Benoni CBD. Upon arrival, they found a woman hanging from a window on the top floor of her building.

Mike Murray & Peut Holtzhausen

Crane rescue

Paramedic Mike Murray and urban search and rescue specialist Peut Holtzhausen were dispatched to rescue a man who had climbed up a 41 meter (11 storey) tower crane. But when the Bronto skylift they called in was only able to reach nine stories, it was up to Mike and Peut to save his life.

‘A’ Shift

Building rescue

‘A’ Shift of Berea Fire Department were dispatched to rescue a 16 year old girl from the window of a nine storey building. They tried to talk to her, but she wouldn't comply. It was only then that they realised she was deaf and mute.

Centrum® is balanced and complete from A to Zinc.