I was going to mention the mild weather we have had over the last few months but, given the last few weeks, I’ll have to rethink my introduction.
Earlier on this year, Blair Gilbert and myself, along with Her Worship the Mayor, Steve Chadwick, and her husband John, had the pleasure of attending the Trustpower National Community Awards, representing Rotorua with our Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme in Dunedin at which we were presented with the runner-up award out of 25 finalists from around the country. This is great recognition of a project that started locally and has since been implemented in communities around the country, thanks to the combined efforts of a number of volunteer organisations.
In May, members from the Lake Okareka Fire Force organised a community bonfire at Boyes Beach. It was great to see a good number of locals turn out for this event which provided some warmth and community spirit before the winter days set in. Thanks also to the community for the generous donations made at the bonfire towards the Sky Tower Stair Climb.
Although the southern hemisphere summer is behind us, conditions in the northern hemisphere are just starting to heat up. Early June, four of the Lake Okareka Fire Force members, along with rural fire crews around the country, were put on standby for a possible deployment to Canada to assist with fire containment efforts. Deployments of this nature are dependent on the personnel needs anticipated by the overseas fire authorities and time will tell if New Zealand crews are required.
In the meantime, with the winter weather just around the corner, please ensure your chimneys are swept and take care on the icy or wet roads.
If you have been thinking about joining the Fire Force, please come down to the fire station at 7.30pm on a Wednesday night when we do training or phone me on 3628874.
You can also go to our website: www.okarekaruralfire.com
Chief Fire Officer