Deputy principal rural fire officer, Richard Horn, said the rural volunteer fire force teams are “absolutely rapt” to have successfully secured new equipment.
Lake Okareka’s volunteer fire unit has secured funding for a $370,000.00 fire truck, with RDC and the National Rural Fire Authority each contributing $60,000. The Lake Tarawera crew has secured a $9000.00 4-wheel drive double cab ute, and the West Rotoiti volunteer force has acquired a $50,000.00 Stabicraft boat.
Yesterday [20 May], before the vehicles entered service, the council held a ceremony to bless the new appliances, with RDC director Kaupapa Maori, Mauriora Kingi, officiating. Mr Kingi said the blessing was to keep the volunteers safe as they go into hazardous environments.
RDC deputy principal rural fire officer Richard Horn said the rural volunteer fire force teams were “absolutely rapt” to have successfully secured the new equipment.
“These three fire fighting assets will not only benefit their individual local communities for years to come but also the wider Rotorua district. Our volunteers already do an awesome job, but they’re really excited about the additional capacity they will have with the new appliances.
“The design and manufacture of Lake Okareka’s fire truck is the first of its type in New Zealand, so it’s definitely going to make their job a lot easier and more efficient.
“The new 4-wheel drive vehicle gives our Lake Tarawera crew the ability to get equipment into some of the steeper areas that the fire truck can’t get to. Our volunteers regularly get called out to take care of storm damage and car accidents so this vehicle will be a real asset to the team.
“And the new boat will be used for vegetation fires along the lake edges where vehicles can’t get access.”