Gert Kuhn was officially elected as the new chairman of the Highveld East Fire Protection Association (Hefpa) last Tuesday evening (6 June) during their annual general meeting (AGM).
Gert has been farming near Charl Cilliers for the past four years.
He worked as a fireman and a paramedic for 13 years in the occupational health and safety field for 22 years before opting for life on the farm.
He also has a business that specialises in occupational safety and helps farmers to comply with the legal processes of staff management.
Gert enjoys working with animals and performs sonars on gravid animals, especially sheep and cattle. He has a machine that can show on day 42 of gestation how many lambs a sheep will bear.
Gert has been involved with Hefpa for the last couple of years.
“The winter is a crucial time for farmers, because it is peak season for fires,” he said.
He urged famers to get involved with Hefpa.
There is currently about 136 000ha of land in the Govan Mbeki municipal area of which the land owers of only about 10 000ha, are involved with Hefpa.
One of the advantages for farmers to join Hefpa is that they will receive free assistance from the fire brigade in case of an emergency.
“If a fire starts on your ground and you are a member of Hefpa and the fire spreads to your neighbour’s land, it is the responsibility of the other party to prove that you have not taken reasonable care.
“Whereas if you are not a member of Hefpa, then you have to prove that you have taken reasonable care,” said Gert.
Hefpa sends a daily weather report to all their members and give advice on the best times and conditions to make firebreaks.
Gert is involved in farm safety and in his free time he enjoys off-road motorbiking. He is a member at a bikers club in Middelburg.
To join Hefpa or to get involved, contact Gert at 082 084 6921.