Hopefully, your local Fire Force has not been quarantined with measles following a warning that was released by public health officials who are carrying out contact tracing for the virus, which includes all those fire fighters who competed in the Sky Tower Stair Climb Challenge. Unfortunately, one participant was confirmed as having the virus in the days following the event. Despite this hiccup, the six Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force members who went up to Auckland for the Challenge all completed the event in good times. In fact, two of our team members, Adam McHugh and Kierin Oppatt, took out first and second place respectively in our category, and we also took out the Number 1 spot for fastest team.
A huge thank you to all those community members who donated so generously to the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand cause, and thanks also for the messages wishing us well. This year’s Sky Tower Challenge event raised a staggering $1.018 million to support victims, their families and ongoing research, which is an amazing result!
This last weekend also saw us assist LOCA with marshalling for the 3D event on and around the Blue Lake. A big thank you to not only my members but also Sandra Goodwin for her continued co-ordination of volunteers for this annual event. Sandra is a true unsung hero of this community.
The Lake Okareka Fire Force is in the process of applying for further funding for replacement of our fire station and water tanker. If you have any expertise (e.g. electrical, plumbing) or are able to help financially, we would be grateful for any assistance offered for these projects. Bearing in mind that the old fire station was built some 32 years ago solely by the local community, input from the community would again be welcomed.
Recently, we also saw another Youth in Emergency Services (YES) group graduate from the programme that was run over March/April. This group was selected from Work and Income. Additionally, one of the previous YES programme graduates received an award from the Minister for Youth, the Hon. Nikki Kaye, at the 2015 Youth Awards held in Parliament last week at which I was privileged to attend.
Later in the year, we are looking forward to another visit from Zane, Degg and Imogen, the travelling performers whose entertaining display was well received by local families at the fire station last year. We will notify the community of the date further down the track.
For anyone wanting to contact the Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force, please phone me on 3628874 or go to our website: www.okarekaruralfire.com.
Phil Muldoon—Chief Fire Officer