Issue 48 - New Zealand Fire Service

fire.org.nz

Issue 48 - New Zealand Fire Service

February 2009

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine

Southdown

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ISSUE

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February 2009

Issue No. 48

Fire & Rescue is the flagship

publication of the New Zealand

Fire Service.

It is produced by Media,

Promotions and Communications,

National Headquarters,

Level 9, 80 The Terrace, Wellington.

Front cover:

The massive inferno that engulfed the

Southdown Freezing Works.

Back cover:

Watership down! The fire that claimed

three boats at the Picton Marina.

We welcome contributions from

Fire Service personnel and their families.

Email stories and digital pictures to:

fire.rescue@fire.org.nz

(Pictures need to be at least 1MB)

Post written material and photos,

or photo CDs to:

Fire & Rescue magazine,

PO Box 2133, Wellington.

(These will be returned on request)

If you have a story idea or an upcoming

event you would like Fire & Rescue to

cover, call the editor on (04) 496 3675.

Fire & Rescue is online at:

www.fire.org.nz

ISSN: 1176-6670

All material in Fire & Rescue magazine is

copyrighted and may not be reproduced

without the permission of the editor.

6

13 14

The Issue Reorganisation ........................................................................................3

Fire Safety Another unsprinklered building fire ............................................6

Business Gaining recognition ..............................................................................8

19

MoU times two .....................................................................................8

Our People A couple of minutes with David Utumapu ............................9

Recruitment Only the best need apply .............................................................10

Incidents Fatal fire ..................................................................................................11

Freezing? Don’t think so!................................................................12

Mahia scorcher ...................................................................................13

One for the road ................................................................................13

The great fire of Dargaville ..........................................................14

Southland tales ...................................................................................16

Historic burn .........................................................................................17

New Technology Kawau First Response Vehicle a first! ....................................18

Out & About School trip ..............................................................................................19

In the Community Our own ‘5-up’ .....................................................................................20

New Station for Paraparaumu ..................................................20

Fun & Games The world’s toughest two minutes in sport .........................21

Sports Calendar 2009 Sports Calendar ....................................................................22

Noticeboard Notes and events ..............................................................................23

20 21


Reorganisation

On 1 February, a new area and management structure was put in place to more closely

align our organisation with our counterparts in the police and army.

The new changes, which have been in

the works for some time now, see the

replacement of three existing ranks

with two new ones.

The ranks of Assistant Fire Region

Manager, paid Chief Fire Officer and

paid Deputy-Chief Fire Officer

are now gone. The new ranks are

Area Commander and Assistant

Area Commander.

With the creation of these two

new ranks, there will be new rank

markings for epaulettes as detailed

in the image below.

The new rank markings have been

designed so they are closer to the

equivalent level in the police and

army. The Area Commander

markings parallel those used for

Superintendents and Lieutenant

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Volunteer

Colonels while the Assistant Area

Commander’s markings parallel those

used for Inspectors and Captains.

The National Commander and Fire

Region Managers will also receive

new rank markings. The National

Commander’s will be the same as

Commissioner or Major General

and FRM’s will be the same as an

Assistant Commissioner or Brigadier.

National Commander Mike Hall

National Commander

told Fire & Rescue that the new

structure provides a more natural

flow of management.

“The previous structure was an echo

of the past problems we had during

the 1990s, it didn’t best serve the

organisation. This new system will

help the Fire Service grow into its

role as a fire, rescue and emergency

service.”

There was a considerable amount

of consultation done over the new

structure with a nationwide notice

sent out in November, 2008. In some

regions the new structure has been

in place for some time and the

feedback from those areas has been

overwhelmingly positive.

The list of areas and the stations

within is over the page.

Chief Fire Officer Volunteer Assistant Area Commander Area Commander Fire Region Commander

Firefighter Qualified Firefighter Senior Firefighter Station Officer Senior Station Officer

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine

The Issue

February 2009

3


Stations within each Area

Area Stations

1.

Far North

2.

Whangarei/

Kaipara

3.

Waitemata

4.

Auckland City

5.

Counties-

Manukau

6.

Waikato

7.

Eastern

Waikato

8.

Bay of Plenty

Coast

9.

Central Lakes

10.

Tairawhiti

11.

Hawke’s Bay

12.

Taranaki

13.

Wanganui

4 Issue No. 48

Ahipara

Kaeo

Kaikohe

Kaitaia

Kawakawa

Dargaville

Hikurangi

Kaiwaka

Kamo

Mangawhai

Albany

Birkenhead

Devonport

East Coast Bays

Glen Eden

Greenhithe

Helensville

Henderson

Auckland City

Auckland Fire Police

Avondale

Balmoral

Beachlands

Clevedon

Howick

Kawakawa Bay

Mangatangi

Mangere

Manurewa

Benneydale

Cambridge

Chartwell

Hamilton

Huntly

Cooks Beach

Coromandel

Hahei

Matamata

Morrinsville

Ngatea

Athenree

Edgecumbe

Greerton

Katakati

Kawerau

Maketu

Matata

Kaingaroa

Kinloch

Mamaku

Mangakino

Murapara

Gisborne

Manutuke

Matawai

Patutahi

Ashley Clinton

Bay View

Dannevirke

Eketahuna

Hastings

Haumoana

Havelock North

Napier

Eltham

Hawera

Inglewood

Kaponga

Manaia

New Plymouth

New Plymouth West

Bulls

Hunterville

Manunui

Mangaweka

Marton

Kerikeri

Kohukohu

Mangonui

Okaihau

Maungaturoto

Ngunguru

Onerahi

Portland

Ruakaka

Huia

Kumeu

Laingholm

Leigh

Mahurangi East

Manly

Piha

Silverdale

Ellerslie

Mt Roskill

Mt Wellington

Onehunga

Mercer

Oneroa

Onetangi

Otahuhu

Otara

Papakura

Kawhia

Ngaruawahia

Otorohanga

Piopio

Pukete

Paeroa

Pauanui

Puriri

Tahuna

Tairua

Tapu

Mt Manganui

Ohope

Omokoroa

Opotoki

Papamoa

Pukehina

Ngongotaha

Putaruru

Rotoma

Rotorua

Ruatoria

Te Araroa

Te Karaka

Te Puia Springs

Norsewood

Nuhaka

Ongaonga

Ormondville

Otane

Pahiatua

Pongaroa

Porangahau

Oakura

Okaiawa

Okato

Opunake

Patea

Rahotu

National Park

Ohakune

Ohura

Owhango

Raetihi

Omapere

Paihia

Rawene

Russell

Ruawai

Te Kopuru

Waipu

Whangarei

Whangarei Heads

Takapuna

Te Atatu

Titirangi

Waiatarua

Waitemata

Warkworth

Wellsford

Parnell

Ponsonby

Remuera

St Helliers

Papatoetoe

Patumahoe

Port Waikato

Pukekohe

Tuakau

Waiuku

Raglan

Te Awamutu

Te Kauwhata

Te Kuiti

Whitikahu

Te Aroha

Thames

Turua

Whangamata

Whitianga

Taneatua

Tauranga

Te Puke

Waihi

Waihi Beach

Whakatane

Taupo

Tirau

Tokoroa

Turangi

Tikitiki

Tokomaru Bay

Tolaga Bay

Whatatutu

Takapau

Taradale

Tikokino

Waipawa

Waipukurau

Wairoa

Woodville

Chatham Islands

Stratford

Toko

Urenui

Waitara

Waitotara

Waverley

Ratana

Taihape

Taumaranui

Wanganui

Whakapapa

Area Stations

14.

Manawatu

15.

Hutt/

Wairarapa

16.

Wellington

17.

Tasman/

Marlborough

18.

West Coast

19.

North

Canterbury

20.

Mid

Canterbury

21.

Christchurch

Metro

22.

South

Canterbury

23.

Central/North

Otago

24.

East Otago

25.

Southland

Apiti

Ashhurst

Bunnythorpe

Cheltenham

Feliding

Foxton

Foxton Beach

Avalon

Carterton

Eastbourne

Featherston

Greytown

Brooklyn

Johnsonville

Karori

Kilbirnie

Newlands

Newtown

Blenheim

Collingwood

Havelock

Kaiteriteri

Mapua

Motueka

Murchison

Blackball

Brunner

Cobden

Fox Glacier

Franz Josef

Granity

Greymouth

Amberley

Cheviot

Culverden

Cust

Hanmer

Akaroa

Coalgate

Darfield

Dunsandel

Hororata

Addington

Brooklands

Christchurch City

Diamond Harbour

Ashburton

Fairlie

Geraldine

Glenavy

Lake Tekapo

Alexandra

Arrowtown

Clyde

Cromwell

Duntroon

Frankton

Kurow

Balclutha

Brighton

Clinton

Clutha Valley

Dunedin

Heriot

Kaitangata

Kaka Point

Lawrence

Balfour

Bluff

Browns

Colac Bay

Dipton

Edendale

Gore

Invercargill

Kingswell

Lumsden

Manapouri

Halcombe

Himatangi Beach

Kimbolton

Levin

Milson

Palmerston North

Hutt City

Martinborough

Masterton

Rimutaka

Seaview

Otaki

Paekakariki

Paraparaumu

Plimmerton

Porirua

Nelson

Picton

Rai Valley

Renwick

Richmond

Seddon

Stoke

Hari Hari

Hokitika

Ikamatua

Karamea

Kumara

Little Wanganui

Moana

Hawarden

Kaiapoi

Kaikoura

Oxford

Rangiora

Kirwee

Leeston

Lincoln

Little River

Governors Bay

Harewood

Lyttleton

New Brighton

Methven

Pleasant Point

Rakaia

Saint Andrews

Temuka

Lake Hawea

Luggate

Millers Flat

Naseby

Omakau

Oamaru

Omarama

Lookout Point

Middlemarch

Milton

Mosgiel

Outram

Owaka

Port Chalmers

Portobello

Ravensbourne

Mataura

Mossburn

Nightcaps

Oban

Ohai

Orepuki

Otautau

Pukerau

Riversdale

Riverton

Rangiwahia

Rongotea

Shannon

Tangimoana

Tokomaru

Waitarere Beach

Silverstream

Stokes Valley

Trentham

Wainuiomata

Tawa

Thorndon

Titahi Bay

Waikanae

Wellington City

Takaka

Tapawera

Upper Moutere

Wairau Valley

Wakefield

Ward

Ngahere

Reefton

Ross

Runanga

Waimangaroa

Westport

Whataroa

Waiau

Waikari

Waipara

Woodend

Rolleston

Sheffield

Southbridge

Springfield

Saint Albans

Sockburn

Sumner

Woolston

Timaru

Twizel

Waimate

Washdyke

Otematata

Palmerston

Queenstown

Ranfurly

Roxburgh

Wanaka

Weston

Roslyn

St Kilda

Tapanui

Waikouaiti

Waitahuna

Waitati

Waiwera South

Willowbank

Te Anau

Thornbury

Tokanui

Tuatapere

Waikaia

Waikaka

Waimahaka

Wallacetown

Winton

Wyndham


The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine

The Issue

February 2009

5


6 Issue No. 48

Fire Safety

Another unsprinklered

building fire


A recent fire at Whitianga’s Placemakers store reinforced just how difficult these fires are

to control with highly combustible LPG cylinders and paint and timber in close proximity.

It also serves to illustrate the importance of sprinklers.

Thought to have been caused by a

faulty electrical switchboard, the fire

at its peak saw 50 firefighters and 10

appliances from around the area

turned out to battle it. While the

building had an F4 type alarm –

linked in directly to the Fire Service -

the building was not sprinklered.

David Edwards, CEO of Fletcher

Distribution Limited, the parent

company of Placemakers, told Fire

& Rescue that all staff were back

working in the store on the Monday

following the fire.

The Placemakers fire follows quickly

on the heels of the fire in Onehunga’s

Mitre 10 which was also unsprinklered.

In last month’s K99, Director of Fire

Risk Management, Dr Paula Beever

talked about the difficulty of

encouraging building owners to

install sprinklers as most buildings

and their contents are insured. This

can lead some building owners to

take a ‘if it’s not in the act, we don’t

have to do it’ approach.

As Dr Beever said, it’s not just the

merchandise and housing that is at

risk, up to a third of businesses who

experience a fire go out of business

and cease to trade within three years

– a statistic that should surely be a

strong incentive in encouraging

business owners to fit their buildings

with sprinklers.

In the aftermath of an industrial/

commercial fire, employees lose jobs,

communities lose money that would

have been spent by the employees

and, at the least, businesses lose

custom to competitors while they

rebuild or, at the worst, go bust.

Another possible angle to take when

trying to convince building owners of

the positives of sprinkler installation

is the environmental angle.

Fire Safety

The run-off water from firefighting

can be high in toxins and other

pollutants and the carbon emissions

from the smoke are also very high –

in the current eco-friendly climate

this is something that businesses

must be aware of.

The benefit of hindsight is a marvelous

thing and while it’s easy to see

the merits of installing sprinklers

after a fire, it’s a lot more difficult

to encourage installation when

building.

Devastation of the

(unsprinklered) Onehunga

Mitre 10 fire late last year.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

Pictures courtesy of NZPA 7


Gaining recognition

In September last year, Fire & Rescue

showed off the new Employer Recognition

Programme.

The programme has proven extremely popular with

volunteer brigades looking to recognise and reward

community minded employers who generously allow

staff who are volunteer fighters time off to respond

to incidents.

One of the first brigades to get involved in the programme

was Greytown VFB who recently unveiled a

sign out the front of their station thanking the companies

in the area who employ volunteer firefighters.

The Employment Recognition Programme is available

on Online Ordering: FS3017

MoU times two

8 Issue No. 48

Business

During 2008 the New Zealand Fire Service and the Fire & Rescue

Services Industry Training Organisation (FRSITO) worked on

improving relationships between the two organisations and

clarifying the responsibilities of each with respect to training.

This resulted in the signing of two

agreements between the organisations,

a Memorandum of Understanding

outlining the provision of

industry training support for career

and volunteer firefighters in the Fire

Service and a moderation agreement

which outlined agreed protocols for

moderation activities.

The agreements were signed

in December by Paul McGill,

Director Operations and

Training and Bill

Robertson, National

Manager FRSITO.

Paul McGill signs the MoU with

Bill Robertson, as national training’s

David Guard, looks on.

Proud of the new sign are (from left)

South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples,

Greytown CFO Chris Williams, Dame

Margaret Bazley and Bill Butzbach.


A couple of minutes with...

DAVID UTUMAPU

A COUPLE OF MINUTES WITH .....

David Utumapu

Where are you stationed?

New Plymouth Station, hidden behind the reception area...

What’s your rank/title?

National Recruitment Manager

How long have you been in the job for?

20 years-gulp, 9 months in my new role.

Family?

I live with my partner Rachael and her 2 boys Elias 11 and Lucca 7

What’s the one thing that sticks in your mind most about the job?

The friendships I have made, fire fighters never fail to impress me on how when you really need a friend or help

they are always there for you.

Your most embarrassing moment?

I’ve got a few ¨GOATS¨ so you’re asking the wrong person. My first ever fire was memorable, I clipped my BA

waist belt over top of my mask air line, so i spent the entire job looking at my feet, strangely enough I still missed

the hole I stepped in, I did notice when I burnt my butt through my trousers.

If you could make one change in the Fire Service it would be...?

An improved relationship between NHQ and operational staff, ¨lets give peace a chance ¨, ¨Why can’t we all be

friends¨ is anyone still reading?

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

That I´m a South Islander, born in Westport, yes Samoans made it that far (also got to Invercargill – just ask Mils

Muliaina! – Ed.)

Favourite book?

To kill a mocking bird, Harper Lee. This was compulsory reading when I was at school and i hope it still is.

Favourite movie?

Paint your wagon, Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin. Classic

Favourite TV show?

MASH

Where are you stationed?

New Plymouth Station, hidden

behind the reception area...

What’s your rank/title?

National Recruitment Manager

Favourite music group?

Genesis/grand master flash and the furious five

Favourite sport?

Golf, always good to be challenged

Favourite holiday destination?

South Asia, best people in the world...

If I wasn’t in the Fire Service I’d be...?

An Astronaut of Course

How long have you been

in the job?

20 years-gulp, 9 months in my

new role.

Family?

I live with my partner Rachael and

her 2 boys Elias, 11 and Lucca, 7.

What’s the one thing that sticks in

your mind most about the job?

The friendships I have made,

f iref ighters never fail to impress me

on how when you really need a friend

or help they are always there for you.

If you could make one change in

the Fire Service it would be...?

An improved relationship between

NHQ and operational staff,

“let’s give peace a chance”,

“Why can’t we all be friends”

is anyone still reading?

Our People

Your most embarrassing moment?

I’ve got a few ¨GOATS¨ so you’re

asking the wrong person. My f irst

ever f ire was memorable, I clipped

my BA waist belt over top of my

mask air line, so I spent the entire

job looking at my feet, strangely

enough I still missed the hole

I stepped in. I did notice when I

burnt my butt through my trousers.

What’s one thing people would be

surprised to learn about you?

That I’m a South Islander, born

in Westport, yes Samoans made it

that far (also got to Invercargill –

just ask Mils Muliaina! – Ed.)

Favourite book?

To kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.

This was compulsory reading

when I was at school and I hope

it still is.

Favourite movie?

Paint Your Wagon, Clint Eastwood

and Lee Marvin. Classic.

Favourite TV show?

MASH

Favourite music group?

Genesis/Grandmaster Flash

and the Furious Five.

Favourite sport?

Golf, always good to be challenged.

Favourite holiday destination?

South Asia, best people in the world...

If I wasn’t in the Fire Service

I’d be...?

An astronaut of course.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

9


Only the best need apply

10 Issue No. 48

Recruitment

Jenna Collings dragging

the dummy.

Whenever the Fire Service advertises vacancies for

career firefighter roles, you can bet your bottom

dollar there won’t be a shortage of applicants.

To ensure that those who wear

the uniform of the New Zealand

Fire Service are the best possible

candidates, extensive testing

is done on each applicant.

That first stage of testing was

done at one of the Fire Service

open days held recently in

Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston

North, Wellington, Christchurch

and Dunedin.

“Being a firefighter is a tremendously

exciting and rewarding

– and we are looking for enthusiastic

people from all walks

to life to take up the challenge.”

National Recruitment Manager

David Utumapu said.

The open days were three

hour sessions where those

present would learn all about

becoming a firefighter and

the responsibilities of the

role, they also got the chance

to run through the physical

pre-entry test – like pulling out a

40m hose or doing a stair climb

carrying 18kgs.

“To have a good chance of being

accepted into the Fire Service,

applicants need to have a good

level of fitness – so we took them

through some physically strenuous

scenarios that firefighters may have

to use at a real emergency.” David

told Fire & Rescue.

“As well as the physical assessments,

applicants need to understand

the theoretical competencies

and the application process. This

dummy run is a great preparation

for the formal application process.

Last year, 550 applied to fill the

48 vacancies that were available.

There is currently a recruit’s course

on now in Rotorua, another in

April – which is already full,

and the final one for 2009 starts in

early August.


Fatal fire

A 49-year-old mother of three lost her life in a house fire in Pukekohe

mid-way through January.

Subsequently, two teenagers – a

16-year-old girl and 18-year-old

man were charged with arson with

police saying more charges will be

laid.

The two storied house was burning

fiercely when the first fire appliances

arrived shortly after 2am. Three fire

appliances and 20 firefighters fought

the fire which badly damaged the

bottom floor of the house.

Neighbours of the house quickly

became concerned that the occupant

was still inside.

“The heat was so intense on the other

side when I came out it was billowing

out of the windows in the top story.

And I knew the children weren’t

there, but I wasn’t so sure about the

mother,” Brian Golding said.

Another neighbour, Wana Wilson

was woken about 1am by his dog

barking. He looked out the window

to see the house next door in flames

and thought: ‘No, it can’t be happening

again’.

Wana lost his niece and grandnephew

in the Mangere fire that

claimed the lives of four children just

two weeks prior. That fire was caused

by unattended cooking while this

fire was deliberately lit.

Last year Fire & Rescue delved into

the high rate of fire fatalities that

New Zealand has been experiencing

over the past 12-18 months. In the

statistics they are called ‘Avoidable

residential fatalities’ and it is very

true of this one that it was an

avoidable fatality. The 49-year-old

Incidents

had removed the smoke alarms from

her house only three weeks before the

fire because they kept going off when

she was making toast in the kitchen.

It reinforces just how important it

is to make sure that the public is

properly educated on how to install

smoke alarms so they are most

efficient. Information on exactly this

can be found at www.fire.org.nz

under Fire Safety and Safety Devices.

The high fatality rate seems especially

true of South Auckland. It is for

this reason that the Fire Service is

investigating a targeted campaign to

really ram home fire safety messages

to this particular area of the country.

More information on this new

campaign will be in future issues.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

Picture courtesy of NZPA 11


Picture courtesy of NZPA

12 Issue No. 48

Incidents

FREEZING?

DON'T THINK SO!

It was a fire described by some firefighters as the

biggest Auckland had seen in decades.

At its peak there were 100 firefighters

working in shifts to try and bring it

under control.

The old Southdown Freezing Works

building was completely gutted by the

fire that started on December 20 and

continued to occupy the Fire Service

through Christmas – on Christmas day

crews from around the region had to

rotate two hour shifts at the site to

ensure the fire didn’t flare up again.

Firefighters battling the blaze could not

get to the seat of the fire because of the

danger of falling debris, unstable and

unsafe floors. It was fought from the

outside but continued to burn fiercely

for days.

Off-duty firefighters were called in

when it became apparent that the blaze

was going to be huge.

On the 28th – over a week after the

initial flare up, firefighters were at last

pulled from the site.

While the cause of the fire was

not apparent immediately, FSO Ray

Coleman believed it was suspicious

and handed the investigation over to

the police.


Picture courtesy of NZPA

Mahia scorcher

Gisborne and its surrounding

areas are some of the

hottest parts of the country,

and the hottest parts of

the country combined

with the hottest time

of year means

extreme fire danger.

Mahia learnt just how extreme

when a huge scrub fire destroyed

six properties and forced the

evacuation of more than 150

residents in a blaze that took 100

firefighters and three helicopters

to bring it under control.

The fire began on the last day of

January as temperatures in the

area reached 39 degrees.

One for the road

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine

Incidents

Firefighters spent the next two

days battling the blaze as it

swelled from high winds and

high temperatures.

Days later evacuated residents

were able to return to their

homes – many of which suffered

smoke damage.

At the time of print the cause of

the fire was unknown.

New Years Eve got off to

quite a start in Auckland

when firefighters were

called out to a car fire on

Auckland motorway.

Several passing motorists notified

the Fire Service of the blazing car,

which was in the bus lane of

an off-ramp, just south of the

Auckland Harbour Bridge,

about 7.55am.

Firefighters arrived to find the car

well ablaze but empty and the fire

was extinguished in minutes.

February 2009

Picture courtesy of Wairoa Star

13


14 Issue No. 48

Incidents

The great fire

of Dargaville

From tragedy comes togetherness and this is

especially true of Dargaville in recent weeks.

In early January a fire tore through Normanby Street – the main road

of Dargaville – burning down a number of businesses.

A decorations store, a video store and a paint store were all badly

damaged. Dargaville CFO Mitch King said that the paint store had provided

plenty of fuel for the inferno. CFO King said it was the biggest blaze

the town had seen since the 1960s.

Firefighters were called at 7.30pm when flames were noticed coming

from the home decorating shop. In just over an hour, the fire had

spread to the surrounding businesses and 20 appliances from around

the region were on the scene.

Over 100 firefighters were called in to help battle the blaze that took

over two hours to bring under control. Even then firefighters remained

at the site all night dampening down hotspots.

Ken Foster, owner of all the buildings which were burnt down was sad

but resolute.

“We’ve just started to settle down, it’s still a bit unbelievable really,

but we are very positive about the future, we’re not going to let this

knock us off our perch.”

After days of investigation, the cause of the fire was pinpointed to a

faulty electrical switchboard.

The owners of the businesses had told fire investigators that they had

been having issues with fuses blowing for some time. FSO Craig Bain

said this was consistent with what he found. “The remnants of a

switchboard and the copper wiring had melted into blobs,” he said.

“If fuses keep popping at home or work it indicates there is something

wrong and it’s time to get an electrician to take a look.”

When the damage to the town was realised, it was quickly decided to

put on a concert in an effort to raise money to help those worst

affected. The Fire Benefit Concert was held on January 30 and was

hosted by My House, My Castle’s Rob Harte – a local.

The concert featured local acts and brought together hundreds of

people from around the community so that the Dargaville businesses,

like a phoenix could rise from the Ashes. Just over $5000 was raised

for the township.


Incidents

Pictures courtesy of the Dargaville and District News

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

15


Between midnight and 7pm firefighters were

dispatched to 11 call-outs – six fires, a call-back

to an earlier fire, one MVA and three PFAs.

One of the fires proved slightly trickier than the

others. Just before 3.30am flames were spotted

coming from a shed on Bluff Highway,

firefighters responded but when they reached

the address found they couldn’t get close enough

to the structure as a wire fence and gate were

blocking them!

Out came the bolt-cutters, a few minutes and a

bit of a crawl later and firefighters were through

the new gap and able to get to the blaze.

The owner of the shed, Gary Rodgers was

told of the fire at 5.30am by a tenant.

“The tenant said ‘I’ve got some bad news

for you.’ I said ‘the bastards have broken

into Bluff Road haven’t they?’ he said

‘it’s worse than that, it’s gone’.”

16 Issue No. 48

Incidents

Southland tales

Firefighters were called to a spate

of blazes around the Southland

region on one busy night.

Pictures courtesy of Barry Harcourt


Historic burn

An historic places building in Arrowtown narrowly avoided being burned to the ground

after the quick response of firefighters to a call-out in early January.

Firefighters from Arrowtown,

Queenstown and Frankton were

called to the Category Two listed

Stables Restaurant just after 9pm

after staff had found a clothes dryer

“full of flames.”

Malcolm Troop was celebrating his

birthday at the restaurant when he

and his guests were told to evacuate.

He dialled 111 immediately.

“They were here in about three

minutes he said.”

Firefighters brought the blaze under

control about 30 minutes after the

callout, although it did require

the smashing of upstairs windows to

gain access.

Arrowtown DCFO Wayne Patterson

was happy with the response of his

firefighters.

If appliances had arrived any later,

other historic buildings close by

would have been in danger of catching

fire as well, he said.

Southern Region’s Fire Safety Officer,

Barry Gibson, said the building had

neither smoke alarms nor a sprinkler

system.

Despite the destruction of about

15 historic buildings each year in

New Zealand from fire, protection

for them is up to the owners and

local authorities, says the area

manager of the Historic Places Trust.

Incidents

Statistics provided by the Trust

showed about 93% of heritage

buildings involved in fires did not

have fire or heat detection systems.

New Zealand Insurance Council

insurance manager John Lucas said

it was up to individual insurance

companies to specify fire protec-

tion – his organisation did not

impose requirements but provided

guidelines.

There were no requirements for

historic buildings or restaurants to

have smoke alarms or sprinkler

systems, but there was generally a

recommendation to have alarms

and sprinklers in accommodation

premises, he said.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

Picture courtesy of NZPA 17


18 Issue No. 48

New Technology

Kawau

first

response

vehicle

a first!

Kawau Island is an island

of exceptional beauty and

historic significance, and lies

approximately 14km east of

Warkworth, north of Auckland.

There are around 70 permanent residents and several hundred

residential sections, many with holiday homes. There are very few

roads and most of the properties are accessible by water only.

During the year, and especially over the summer months, the island

population swells by many thousands of day visitors, overseas

tourists and holiday makers.

At present there are five bays on the island with a first response

capability in case of medical, fire, environmental, Civil Defence

and other emergencies. For all local responses, the Kawau Island

emergency service personnel use their own boats or wait for the

next available water taxi, which can be delayed considerably

during the busy summer season. This is because there are no fire

appliances or ambulances on the island due to a lack of roading.

It was recognised several years ago that a dedicated marine rapid

response vessel was needed to be able to respond to a diverse

range of different emergencies as quickly as possible.

The decision was made to invest in a first response unit that was

appropriate to the island’s unique situation. A modified threeperson

jetski was seen as the best option for a number of reasons

– it can be launched by one person, can operate at high speeds and

was easily modified.

Five pods were installed on the jetski, one each for fire, medical,

lighting, environmental and one for special operations. Each pod

carries a specific set of emergency response tools suitable for

whichever emergency the team is responding to.

Although Surf Lifesavers and Coast Guard services use jetskis,

Kawau believe their Rapid Response Vessel is a first for

New Zealand (and possibly the world).

Dave Jeffreys and Mark Phillips

check out the new RRV.


School Trip

Most 7-year-old boys dream of being a firefighter, of riding a

firetruck around and wearing the uniform. It’s just a role that appeals.

Jake Murray of Ashburton got to live that

dream for one morning after winning an online contest.

Jake jumped online to firewise.fire.org.nz, the kid’s fire safety

website and entered in our most recent competition.

The competition was an online quiz that required kids to

answer a series of questions based on fire safety and

fun facts found from around the website.

The Fire Service was inundated with entries;

pleasingly the majority of them had all correct

answers. From these correct entries, Jake’s name

was drawn out of a hat and he and his

family were delighted to hear he’d be

taken to Hampstead School in a fire

appliance!

Ashburton volunteer Charlie

Kelland picked Jake up and outfitted

him in a kid’s sized set of

Level 2’s and helmet and off they

went. Most of Hampstead School

was outside awaiting Jake’s arrival

and gave an almighty cheer when the

fire appliance rounded the corner.

Jake’s choice of words for the event

were “wicked fun” though he was

out of his level 2’s as soon as he

could, “they are far too hot!”

Out & About

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

19


Our own ‘5-up’

In February 2004, Fire & Rescue ran a story on the

Te Puke Fire Brigade showing six brigade members

who had had new additions to their families that year.

Well the youngest of those six has very recently turned five and

we thought it was time for an update!

From left are Nikau Pelham, DCFO Dale Lindsay with Peter,

CFO Glenn Williams with Amanda, Acting SO Peter Jones and

Damien, SSO Mark Norris and Lisa and David Loynes with Caitlin.

New Station for Paraparaumu

January saw the commissioning

of Paraparaumu’s new station

situation in Te Roto Drive,

Paraparaumu.

After 50 years at the old station in

Kapiti Road, the move to this new

station is long overdue.

Paraparaumu CFO Wayne Sarjeant was

delighted. “To go from a 50yr old station

to a brand new one is an amazing step

forward, previously we had no room

for training at the old station but the

new one has fantastic facilities, and it’s

eco-friendly!”

20 Issue No. 48

In the Community

The 2004 article.


The world’s toughest

two minutes in sport

The firefighter’s combat challenge is billed as the toughest

two minutes in sport and it’s something New Zealand

firefighters have gotten quite good at.

In late 2008 the Firefighter’s Combat Challenge world

championship was held in Las Vegas and ‘Team Blackfire’

represented New Zealand.

The team was made up of Doug Kinsella, Haydn Parker,

Rob Holah, Jade South, Steve Fairweather, Donny Butters,

Stu Hiddleston, Manu Clarkson.

The first day of the competition was hugely successful for

New Zealand with all individuals running a personal

best time – with

three of the team

finishing the day

in the top 20.

Fun & Games

By the time the

three day event

was finished,

Team Blackfire

had finished a

hugely credible 15th – made even more remarkable by

the fact that they had to beat over 100 teams just to

make the final!

In the individual competition, Doug Kinsella lead the

way for the Kiwi team with a personal best time of 1.42,

enough to secure him a top 50 placing, 13 seconds

behind the overall winner, Brandon Cunningham from

Fort Gordon in Georgia.

Speaking to Rob Holah after the event he said he

was really proud of how Team Blackfire performed.

“2008 was a huge year for us, with the world champs

and Team Black Fire NZ is now registered as an

incorporated society. We are looking forward to the

challenges in training, competition, and the growth of

the team and sport this year!”

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

21


2009

Sports Sports

Calendar Calendar

Get out those calendars because

there are a few dates coming up

that you best put a ring around.

March 4-5 2009

National Lawn Bowls

Tournament

Stratford

rhhsmith@xtra.co.nz

May 15-17 2009

National Squash

Tournament

New Plymouth

rachel.lind@fire.org.nz

May 2009

National Volley Ball

Tournament

Tauranga

kerry.gordon@fire.org.nz

August 2009

National Trout Fishing

Tournament

Turangi

jim.prescott@fire.org.nz

22 Issue No. 48

Sports Calendar

March 22 2009

Taranaki Provincial Fire

Brigades Outdoor Bowls

New Plymouth

syjorob@xtra.co.nz

May 2009

National Darts

Tournament

Papamoa

sandford@orcon.net.nz

July 5 2009

Wellington Provincial F/B

Golf Tournament

Feilding Golf Club

warren.dunn@fire.org.nz

August 2009

National Alpine Ski

Championships

Ohakune

ohakune@fire.org.nz

March 8–11 2009

National Surf-Riding

Championships

Piha

stepham.sosich@fire.org.nz

May 2009

Wairarpa Sub Assn

Golf Tournament

Carterton Golf Club

henry.stechman@fire.org.nz

July 2009

National Snooker

Tournament

henry.stechman@fire.org.nz

August 30 2009

Wellington Provincial

Indoor Bowls Tournament

Wellington

denchy@xtra.co.nz

March 30 2009

Region 3 vs 4

Golf Tournament

Palmerston North

warren.dunn@fire.org.nz

May 2009

Bay Waikato Annual

Golf Tour

Putaruru Golf Club

putaruru@fire.org.nz

July 2009

South Island Volleyball

Tournament

michael.cockburn@fire.org.nz

If you know of

an event missing,

please contact

Fire & Rescue


The Fire Service’s Fire Safety Ambassador,

Peter Leitch, aka the Mad Butcher has

been getting hands-on in his new role!

Wayne Gerrand, manager of the

Palmerston North Mad Butcher shop,

and ex member of Carterton VFB, invited

Peter to Palmy on a promotional tour.

While there, Peter took time out to help

promote the Keep Looking When You’re

Cooking and Don’t Drink & Fry campaigns

that he’s graciously donated his time to.

He even signed a copy of December’s

Fire & Rescue.

Right now we’re working with Peter on

a range of other promotional initiatives

designed to encourage the installation

and regular testing of smoke alarms.

Noticeboard

In December’s Fire & Rescue we

did a recap of the year’s events.

In the recap we reported that

Kinleith Pulp and Paper Mill had

been razed by fire on February 5.

This was not true, Kinleith did

experience a fire but it is back

fully operational (and has been for

sometime). Fire & Rescue regrets

the error.

Te Kuiti VFB is celebrating its

centenary during Easter weekend

this year. Any inquiries to be

directed to either Grahame Howell

on 021 253 7227 or Phil New on

027 661 5800.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine February 2009

23


The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine

Published February 2009

By the New Zealand Fire Service

Media, Promotions & Communications

National Headquarters, Wellington

www.fire.org.nz

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