How time flies when you’re having fun. It seems like only last week I was making plans for Christmas, and now we’re at the end of February.
At the beginning of this year, we have seen the departure of several of our 17-18 year olds who are bound for university. While they often return during their semester breaks and holiday periods, we still could do with new members to “top-up” our numbers during the year. We have been fortunate enough to recruit two new members so far this year. However, if you have entertained the thought of joining the brigade, now is the time as training for new recruits will be undertaken in the not too distant future.
An interesting start to the year saw myself and two other members deployed to Kaimaumau – a small settlement 40 kilometres north of Kaitaia – to assist with seasonal fire fighting duties for a 107 hectare peat/scrub fire. In total, 16 fire fighters from the Rotorua area attended. The experience in dealing with a multi-agency fire and the logistics involved with such a large fire is certainly invaluable.
The integrated crews from both Rotorua District Council and Lake Okareka proved themselves to be professional, efficient and diligent, both on and off the fire ground. Who knows, one day we may have to call upon outside assistance to deal with a large fire, such as Dunedin has recently.
Remember, a restricted fire ban is still in place until 30 April, so if you are planning to burn any rubbish or have a bonfire, please obtain the necessary documentation from prior to lighting up (it makes our job far easier).
Thanks again to those residents who take the time to phone me and advise of their intended fires, and also to those residents who have kindly made donations to the brigade. A recent donation enabled us to purchase several “camel backs” – great for hydration on the fire ground.
On another note, with the cooler months just around the corner, now would be a good time for residents to ensure their chimneys have been swept.
For anyone interested in joining the brigade or wanting to contact us, please don’t hesitate to phone me on 362 8874.
Chief Fire Officer