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Fire Brigade

September 13, 2017 Regular Features, September 2017 No Comments

The amalgamation of the NZ Fire Service with 39 rural fire authorities on the 1st of July brought together our country’s urban and rural fire services for the first time. The Martinborough Volunteer Fire Brigade (MVFB) is now part of a much larger national organisation with new and better ways of working together. By world standards, Fire and Emergency NZ is a large emergency service. MVFB are one of 690 fire brigades and fire forces with over 14,000 personnel spread out across NZ. 83% of those personnel are either rural or urban volunteers who provide emergency coverage to more than 95% of the New Zealand’s land mass.

Because of the essential contribution our volunteers make during emergencies, improving the support available for volunteers is a key feature of the changes. It’s about making it “easier to volunteer”. If more of the community can contribute to our own protection, there will be less work for each of us to do. There has never been a better time to be part of the Fire and Emergency sector as a volunteer member.
The MVFB is known to produce high calibre firefighters. Our team put a lot of time into supporting new members to ensure they are well prepared for the job. Two of our members are soon to be employed as career firefighters. We congratulate these personnel. Robert Brown is first away commencing his employment on 25th September. Zoe Sinclair is next and will commence her new role in January 2018. We are actively seeking to recruit replacements. If you want to know more about joining us, come visit the station and talk with the team on any Tuesday night from 7pm or browse the new fire and emergency website.
The 110th Annual General Meeting of the Brigade was held early August. We took the opportunity to reflect on our many achievements during the last year. Activity highlights included:
More inter-station training including an exercise at the Rimutaka Railway Tunnel and a vehicle crash exercise with Greytown Brigade
Station Officer Jacob Hawkins attended and graduated from a residential leadership and governance course in Wellington
Qualified Firefighters Wayne Thomas, Jamie Brock and Justin Hudepohl qualified and were promoted to the rank of Senior firefighter
Several Brigade members qualified or are near to qualifying as Emergency Response Drivers
Firefighter Zoe Sinclair has qualified for promotion as a Qualified Firefighter
All other operational members are enrolled in advancement programmes provided by the organisation
Recruit Firefighter Rait and Fire Fighters Emily Abbot, Zoe Sinclair, Melanie Coleman and brown successfully competed in the Skytower Challenge in Auckland, raising a significant amount of money for the Child Cancer Foundation.
Operational Support Chris Hoosen has lead a project to procure an incident support/medical response unit for the Brigade
All Wairarapa Brigades including the Tora Voluntary Rural Fire Force sent representatives to the AGM. Their tireless support for our brigade and providing mutual aid at emergencies was noted with appreciation and unanimous acclaim.

Bill Butzbach Chief Fire Officer Martinborough District

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