Come along and find out what it’s like to be a Firefighter. Have a go on a high-pressure water hose and rescue cutting equipment. Talk to the team of Fire brigade members and the new recruits. Inspire the kids, who can dress up and have their picture taken sitting in a fire truck. Savour the barbecue and just enjoy being together.
The team of volunteer firefighters will be there as well as Roly Chaney the Fire Chief and Derek Collier, deputy Fire Chief and trainer of firefighter recruits. If you have any enquiries about the open day, you can find Derek at his business, Whitianga Sports in Albert Street, Monday to Saturday.
Four New Recruits joined in February to learn to become Fire Fighters in training at the Whitianga Fire Station. Ella Fussell, Meg Hoyland and Kevin Zhu, all students at MBAS, joined together in February to learn to become firefighters. Meg is a third generation Firefighter following in the boots of her dad and Grandad.
The fourth recruit, now in her tenth week, is Rebecca Walker who has said goodbye to her school days years ago, but who is a keen and proficient future Firefighter. Being a fire fighter is not for the faint hearted but all four new recruits were pleased to be able to help the local community and spoke unanimously and highly of Derek Collier, their trainer.
“There is definitely a need for more recruits, and we hope people in Whitianga will step forward,” says Derek.
What is required of a firefighter? They attend training every Monday after work for one hour over a period of 6 months. Then there is a week of intensive training in Rotorua, and if they pass that, then the recruit begins to take part in riding on the fire truck to assignments and call outs. They must also attend the Wednesday regular training that all fire officers attend on a Wednesday night from 7.30pm to 9.00pm.
“After their full training is completed, recruits only need to commit to the Wednesday night weekly training,” says Derek.
You could be an operational Support for the Fire Brigade: Whitianga Fire Brigade is also looking for operational support people. Derek spoke about how they help in many ways, including assisting at incidents, with traffic control, at road accidents and providing safe landing zones for rescue helicopters.
Derek concludes, “We are there for the recruits through all the steps of training, and for our Operational Support volunteer team, so come along to the Open Day on Sunday, 20 August or pop in on a Wednesday night and see the training that we do.”
This community thanks its volunteer firefighters who, as well as fight fires, are also called on to attend other serious incidents …. Flooding, car accidents, slips and rescues.
Chief Fire Officer – Roly Chaney, Email: Shelley.firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Chief Fire Officer – Derek collier
Derek Collier (left) with Whitianga’s newest recruits: Rebecca Walker, Ella Fussell, Kevin Zhu and Meg Hoyland.