In a world that sometimes feels like its spinning out of control, there are individuals who stand as beacons of hope and courage.

One such individual is Petrus David, a dedicated paramedic and firefighter serving his local community. With his selfless commitment and fearless spirit, he embodies the essence of a true hero.

As Namibia prepares to commemorate Heroes Day on 26 August, Nampa recently sat down with David to hear his story of being a local hero in his own right.

David’s journey into the world of emergency response started at an early age. Growing up in Katutura’s Shandumbala, he was no stranger to sirens and the call of duty. Finding it intriguing to observe lives being saved in front of him by City of Windhoek emergency responders sparked a desire in him to make a difference in his community.

“I saw the impact saving lives had on the people of my community,” David reflects.

“It was inspiring to see how they rushed toward danger to help those in need, and I knew I wanted to do the same.”

David’s path led him to becoming both a paramedic and firefighter, a combination of skills that allows him to respond effectively to a wide range of emergencies. His days are unpredictable, and his roles are often intertwined.

David recalls one particularly harrowing event when he faced his first medical emergency.

“I recall my first day as a junior paramedic on the site. We were called to the Hosea Kutako International Airport in 2006. A visitor on his way to South Africa suffered a heart attack while on the stairs, fainted and rolled down the stairs. The first concern was the distance; we were in the city and needed to go 40 kilometres to attend to someone who had just had a heart attack, so we were concerned about making it there on time. When we finally arrived, I saw a helpless person on the floor, and his complexion had drastically changed. I was the youngest member of the team and had to perform CPR while listening to my senior’s directions,” he explained.

David said the mental image of each scene was impossible to forget, especially at the start of his career. Talking about it with his loved ones or friends however makes him feel better and encourages him to try his best the next day.

“On so many scenes during a fire outbreak, your only mission is to get everyone to safety,” he remembers. “Some people are unfortunately not so lucky and end up getting hurt very badly, to a point where the first-degree burns make their skin fall off, a horrific scene I’ve seen too many times to count.”

David not only fights fires or treats injuries, he is also an educator and community builder. Through his company, Africa Fire and Rescue, David along with his team regularly visita schools and different establishments to teach fire safety, conduct CPR workshops and participate in community events. Building trust and a sense of security within the community is as important to him as putting out fires.

He describes being a paramedic and firefighter as “no walk in the park” as the physical demands can be gruelling, the emotional toll heavy and the hours unpredictable.

Despite the challenges, David finds immense fulfilment in his work. The most rewarding aspect, he says, is the direct impact he has on people’s lives.

“When you save a life or protect someone’s property, you feel a sense of purpose that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s not just a job; it’s a calling.”

What makes David even more remarkable is his humility. He does not consider himself a hero, despite the countless lives he has touched and saved. He attributes his success to the incredible teamwork and support of his colleagues, as well as the unwavering encouragement of his family.

In a world that often craves recognition, David serves as a humble reminder that true heroes are not defined by accolades, but by their unwavering commitment to others.

Looking ahead, he has no plans to slow down. He is committed to continuous training and improvement, staying up to date with the latest techniques and technologies in his field. He is also excited about the future generation of firefighters and paramedics who are going to change the lives of many Namibians.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency