Roll-on summer! It’s not surprising that we have noticed a drop in fire-related call‑outs. It was recently suggested that we invest in a rubber duckie and some life jackets, with all the rain we have had lately.
The only incidents related to the weather this winter have been minor slips and fallen powerlines.
With the coming fire season, commencing on 1 October, a busy time is in store for our new recruits to ensure they hold the relevant NZQA unit standards. This is a nationwide requirement for all volunteer brigades. All our registered members have undertaken training through the Rotorua District Council and attained the necessary qualifications. These vary from basic firefighting, chainsaw use and first aid, to emergency vehicle driving and crew boss level. This is a great way to achieve new skills and gain qualifications. New recruits are always welcome – all you need is a reasonable level of fitness.
In addition, our members will soon be undertaking the annual Department of Conservation (DoC) pack test. This consists of a 4.5km walk carrying a 20.5kg pack, to be completed within 45 minutes. This is a requirement for recruits in order to participate with DoC in fire related incidents.
A project we have recently undertaken is to acquire a water tanker, we are in the process of sourcing funding for this. The tanker is to be approximately 8,000-10,000 litres and will be available for a range of uses.
More recently, we were visited by 10 delegates from Australian rural and urban authorities who were hosted by a key member of the New Zealand Rural Fire Authority. The Lake Okareka brigade had been asked to showcase its operations within the rural fire sector. It was a good thing I met with them before the rugby game!
For those residents who don’t know where we are or how to contact us, please don’t hesitate to phone me on 362 8874.
Chief Fire Officer