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Fire Brigade News

Despite an increase of “fast and furious” wannabes on our local roads, it’s been a relatively quiet month.

Motor Vehicle accidents

Piha Rd—car into bank
West Coast Rd—vehicle over bank

Make your home fire safe—did you know 80% of the house fires firefighters attend, smoke alarms are either not installed or not working?

Having working smoke alarms saves lives. When we are asleep, we can’t smell smoke so the alarm is the early warning that could save your life. We recommend you install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and within three metres of each bedroom door. It’s even safer if there is an alarm in every bedroom. If you live in a rental property, your landlord is required by law to install smoke alarms. If you have smoke alarms in your home you should test them every month by pushing the test button If you don’t have smoke alarms give us a call. We have a limited number of alarms that we can provide


Congratulations to Frederic Abbott (Frabit) – recipient of Gold Star medal, recognising 50 years of service and dedication to your brigades, communities and the public – Te Atatu Station Career Staff & Waiatarua Volunteer Fire Brigade. We really appreciate your outstanding contribution, and are thankful to Christine for supporting you.


Congratulations to Jacob Moolman for completing his 5 day Emergency Response Driving Training and to Steve Smith and Jay Percival who completed their 5 day Officers Executive Course in Rotorua.


According to statistics New Zealand voluntary and community organisations contribute $4 billion to the New Zealand economy. Fire and Emergency New Zealand contributes to this total with 11,500 volunteers that crew many of the 600+ stations nationwide.

It’s easy to head towards the excitement of the role and attempt to convince those on the volunteering fence that thrilling tales await them. I would be lying if I said there was no excitement; the Waiharara Wildfire, Countdown Chip Aisle Fire are big for me. However, after being involved for 4 years I reflected on what stuck in the grey matter and it was not all about the big jobs or the tall tales.

What got me thinking was the little things like sitting on the appliance bay floor with my daughter, her captivated as I explained our medical bag or finding a patient’s phone before they headed to hospital, knowing they needed the voice of a loved one. Being a volunteer with Fire & Emergency New Zealand is many things, Firefighting is only part of our story.

I joked once, that a volunteer fire truck has firefighters but also a builder, electrician, forklift operator, mechanic, administrator, software engineer and a helpful bunch of managers. The reality is our truck represents the community in many ways, enthusiastic and broad with talent. Cyclone Gabrielle taught us a lot about our brigade and reinforced that, like us, our community is strong and full of people willing to help.

Our future capabilities as a brigade strengthen when someone steps forward. It might take time to learn the ropes but your existing skills and experience immediately add value not just to us but the wider community we support. Our real strength has always been our compassion, teamwork, diversity and courage, not the courage to be a firefighter but the courage to get involved.

Is now the time to get amongst it and give back within an organisation that values your existing skills, offers training progression and welcomes both you and your family.


Steve Smith, Chief Fire Officer 021 398 425
Jay Percival, Deputy Chief Fire Officer 021 205 2756

Steve Smith, Waiatarua Fire Brigade


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