Part of the camp included the Canterbury Rural Fire Challenge which took place in alpine country around the Mount Cheeseman/Broken River ski field area. The competition comprised of 12 different rural firefighting activities and a time limit to complete them. Each crew started off with a certain number of points. These were then deducted throughout the day for each faux pas or time default. It was a very enjoyable but also very physical day. Depending on funding, I would like to be able to send the Okareka crew leaders to next year’s competition as the knowledge and skills gained by participating would be hugely beneficial to pass onto our younger members.
We have had a number of new recruits join the Okareka Fire Force recently, all of whom have passed their first units standards for basic vegetation firefighting, personal safety and first aid. Thanks to Richard Horn for organising this training.
Thanks also to Waiariki Institute of Technology for providing a chainsaw course for rural firefighters from Okareka, Tarawera and West Rotoiti. This was organised with the assistance of Jeremy Christmas.
You may have noticed at the beginning of November that we ran a rather large live fire exercise on Kipper Royal’s property. This was part of the New Zealand Fire Service volunteer fire training camp organised by the Ngongotaha brigade. It was great to be able to work alongside (or should I say direct) our colleagues in the NZ Fire Service in relation to rural firefighting techniques. There was a combined total of some 60 firefighters in attendance on the day. Thanks to Kipper for providing the ideal location to hold this event.
Members of the Lake Okareka Fire Force also had fun assisting with the Flying Trout Challenge organised by the Lake Okareka Pre-school and held on Fenella Playne’s farm. Thank you to the Pre-school for the generous donation from funds raised through this event.
For anyone who is interested in joining the fire force or wanting to contact us, please don’t hesitate to phone me on 362 8874.
Chief Fire Officer