The 2010 Centrum® Guardian Project

The 2010 Centrum® Guardian Project

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Every minute of every day and every night, selfless men and women across South Africa perform a duty which requires bravery and sacrifice that could ultimately save the lives of strangers who need their skills and expertise. The CGP represents a platform for the public to express their gratitude to the members of the Emergency Services industry.


  1. Egnall Brown, Charl Nieuwoudt and Deon Alberts, three Swift Water Rescue Technicians from Overberg Fire and Rescue and Western Cape Provincial Ambulance Services. They were called in to help when a car with a family was swept off a bridge over the Breede River in full flood. A man, woman and two year old child were clinging to trees in the raging current. Making their way through the dangerous waters, they reached the three and brought them to the safety of the riverbank.
  2. Vinton Alfreds, George Hilton and Andries van den Berg. Shortly after starting his nightshift, George, Fire Fighter and Crew Commander at Thokoza Fire Station, received a call that a double-decker luxury tour bus had overturned. Once on the scene, George joined forces with Vinton Alfreds and Andries van den Berg, Fire Fighters and Crew Commanders from Alberton Station 3, and together they spent more than two hours freeing a teenage girl trapped under the weight of the bus.
  3. Mervyn van Ginkel of the Innesdale Fire Station in Pretoria. He received a call that a teenage girl at a local hospital was attempting to jump off a ledge of the third floor at a district hospital. After two nerve-wracking attempts to dissuade her, Mervyn detached his safety rope and edged closer. He then reattached the rope, grabbed hold of her and managed to pull her to safety.
  4. Thulisile Nkosi, a Fire Fighter based in Boksburg. She was on her way to a pharmacy when she spotted a vehicle veering into oncoming traffic, crashing over an embankment and into a dam. Thuli rushed to the scene, and even though she is small in stature and can’t swim, made a quick assessment and jumped into the water to rescue the bulky driver from his vehicle.
  5. Sean Serfontein, a volunteer Rescue Swimmer for the NSRI in KZN. He received a Code Red that a 37-metre Spanish fishing trawler’s engine room had flooded in rough seas and its 17 crew members were abandoning ship. He rushed to base station where a rescue helicopter picked him up, making haste to the ship 78km off shore. In the darkness of night, Sean was lowered by hoist into the three metre swell below. Through the course of the night, a gruelling 54 hoist lifts were performed to bring everyone to safety.

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