At the sharp end - New Zealand Fire Service

At the sharp end - New Zealand Fire Service

At the sharp end

December 2006 / January 2007

Service Magazine



December 2006 / January 07

Issue No. 26

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.

Editor: Iain Butler

Front cover: Palmerston North QFF

Phil Fryer emerges from the Rangitikei

Flooring fire covered in soot.

Story on page 8.

Picture: Jonathan Cameron / Manawatu


Back cover: Greymouth volunteer

firefighter David O’Shea and Greymouth

High School principal Arthur Graves at

the launch of the Fire Service’s employer

recognition scheme in the town.

Story on page 18.

Picture: Lisa Rangi/

Greymouth Star.

We welcome contributions from

Fire Service personnel and their families.

Email stories and digital pictures to: fire.

(Pictures need to be at least 1MB)

Post written material and celluloid

photos, or photo CDs to:

Fire & Rescue magazine,

PO Box 2133, Wellington.

(These will be returned on request)

If you just have an idea or have an

upcoming event you would like

Fire & Rescue to cover, call

Iain Butler on (04) 496 3675.

Fire & Rescue is online at:

ISSN: 1176-6670

All material in Fire & Rescue magazine is

copyrighted and may not be reproduced

without the permission of the editor.

4 5 9

The issue Smoke screening ..................................................................................3

In for the lung haul .............................................................................4

Training Twenty years of blue skies ..............................................................5

Profile Our house ................................................................................................6

Incidents Calling their Bluff ..................................................................................7

Doomed building goes early ..........................................................7

One good turn... deserves another ........................................8/9

Ashhurst firefighters have had a gutsful ................................9

Crash of the codes ...........................................................................10

Te Anau Lions have cash to burn ............................................10

Rushed off their feet .......................................................................11

My Patch A museum in progress ...................................................................12

2006 Awards Lend me your years .........................................................................14

Pics of the bunch ..............................................................................16

What’s hot and not .........................................................................17

In the community Thanks, boss .........................................................................................18

Double agent ......................................................................................18

Service Four in one ............................................................................................19

Getting Carey-ed away ..................................................................19

Fun & Games It’s not too late to join the fun ..................................................20

Icebreaker .............................................................................................20

If at first you don’t succeed ........................................................21

Scottie’s Corner What’s wrong with him? ...............................................................22

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

13 19 21

Picture: John Cowpland

Smoke screening

The issue looks at the health of firefighters, and what to do to keep it good.

The Fire Service has broken new

ground by adopting a health

screening programme that will

stay with firefighters long after

they leave the job.

The Hauora on-line screening

programme measures firefighters’

lung function, weight, height, vision

and hearing, and includes a blood

test to measure cardiovascular


The Fire Service adopted the

independently run screening

programme on November 27,

becoming the first major employer

in New Zealand to join up. It has

the approval of both the UFBA

and NZPFU.


The previous edition of “The issue”

on page three mentioned that Foxton

and Foxton Beach brigades were

planning to merge because of

declining numbers.

This was taken from a newspaper

Trained health providers will come to

each station in the country, recording

the information they gather on a

secure on-line system.

There will also be a questionnaire

to determine if someone is at risk

of depression, and any issues

arising from any of the tests will be

referred for follow up to the person’s

own doctor.

“The system is completely secure,

and separate from the Fire Service

computer network,” says Rosy

Fenwicke, national medical officer.

“Even though the Hauora staff

will log onto a station computer to

input their information, it is

encrypted so that only the patient and

article quoting the local mayor,

but the CFOs of both brigades

are adamant there are no plans

to merge.

Foxton Beach CFO Rod Caldow

says since the newspaper article

The issue

their health provider can access it.”

Information is stored to allow

individual’s health to be monitored

by their doctor, while the Fire Service

will be given an overall picture of

the service’s health to identify any

trends or general areas that could

cause concern.

Being an on-line system, it has the

flexibility to go with a staff member

when they leave the organisation.

“That means that at the end of the

firefighters’ career they get a health

summary to take with them.”

From July 1, 2007, all career and

volunteer staff will get an annual

check-up, so expect to see the Hauora

team coming to station near you soon.

his brigade has had seven

applications for new firefighters,

while Foxton is “full”.

Fire & Rescue regrets the error and

any consternation it has caused in

southern Horowhenua.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007 3

Asthma isn’t just for kids, with one in

six Kiwi adults affected, says national

medical officer Rosy Fenwicke.

In for the

lung haul

Asthma can start at anytime in someone’s life.

Some firefighters develop asthma when they have been

exposed to smoke and chemicals while fighting fires.

Symptoms of asthma can occur in ‘attacks’ or asthma

symptoms can be there all the time. Many people with

asthma also have hay fever and/or eczema.

Symptoms of asthma include:

• Cough often in the early morning and in the evening

through the night

• Shortness of breath and/or reduced exercise tolerance

• Wheeziness

• Tight feeling in the chest.

People with asthma have oversensitive airways which

react to triggers which don’t affect other people. These

triggers cause airways to narrow in size and clog up with

mucous, making it hard to breathe in and even harder to

breathe out. Asthma can vary over time and in response

to treatment.

Severe childhood asthma increases the risk of abnormal

lung function in adults, which is why when someone

reports a history of childhood asthma we need to get

additional information about the type of childhood

asthma they had.

While most early childhood asthma goes away by age 16,

the airways can remain vulnerable in adult life, and eight

percent of people who are symptom-free between 16 and

23 report symptoms starting again after the age of 23.

Relapse at 33 is more common in smokers and those

with allergies.

Most asthmatics know what triggers their own

personal asthma symptoms, be it exercise, cold air (as in

BAs) or household dust. However, because asthmatics

have oversensitive airways, they can also react to

unexpected triggers.

Firefighters are exposed to a huge variety of air-borne

4 Issue No. 26

The issue

Picture: Kerry Marshall

substances and gases, some invisible, which could

trigger asthma, sometimes in people who have never

had asthma before.

Inhalers are the most common means of asthma

prevention and come in two forms. Preventers (like

Flixotide) are taken every day and keep asthma attacks at

bay. Treaters (like Ventolin) are used for asthma attacks.

However, an inhaler is no use to a firefighter if they have

an attack in the middle of a fire, wearing BA!

The best way for someone to manage their asthma is to

avoid triggers and most importantly, not to smoke


Mild asthma sufferers may get used to not operating on

fully functioning lungs, not realising they are only

operating on 90 percent capacity. This is not usually a

problem, but if someone puts on 20 kg of PPE and does

strenuous exercise in a hot stressful environment, they

may not have enough normal lung function to cope,

putting themselves and the rest of their crew at risk.

As part of the pre-employment medical, we ask if there is

a history of asthma. Where symptoms clearly stopped in

childhood and the applicant is older and a non-smoker,

that person passes. If there is any doubt about the

diagnosis we will ask the applicant to have a test called

spirometry and a saline challenge test, either privately or

by referral to a respiratory physician at the local hospital.

We realise this can be a time consuming and costly

exercise but it is the international standard.

As stated earlier, asthma can occur at any time in life.

Existing firefighters who have asthma-like symptoms

should discuss their options with their CFO and take

further medical advice.

Twenty years of blue skies

CPFBA junior vice-president Mike McGillen relives his

first and most recent trips with Operation Blue Skies.

In 1986 I was accepted to the second Canterbury

Provincial Fire Brigades Association (CPFBA) weekend of

training known as Operation Blue Skies.

There were 49 crews from all over Canterbury, and most

of the weekend was spent on site in an upstairs meeting

room with guest speakers from the Police on arson

investigation and from the Fire Service on

dealing with LPG.

There were practical

demonstrations over

the weekend – fuel

fires in skips, bins,

monsoon buckets on

helicopters, being in

a room full of


foam without

BA and some

a r m y f i r e

equipment –

but the most

memorable was

the Department of

Labour explosives


Now, though, it’s all go.

On the first night of Blue Skies 2006 the Kaiapoi

firefighters ran fire calls from 9 pm to 4 am with each

crew attending two or three calls, varying from PFAs to

car fires and even a hazardous substances alert.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine


First thing on Saturday, the still

bleary-eyed crews headed to

Christchurch Airport Fire where

the students got to experience up

close controlling large fuel fires

with standard deliveries. This was

followed by a display of the airport’s

Stryker appliances at work.

After lunch it was one port to another as the crews went

to Lyttelton Station, where there were calls set up with a

nautical theme – a person in distress on a fishing vessel,

an LPG gas fire and attack coordination and, finally,

working off a coast guard vessel with pump and suction.

Sunday was a bit more low key, but no less busy, with a

firefighters’ combat challenge between groups of students,

followed by a USAR equipment demonstration and a

look over Rangiora’s new Type 2 truck.

With all that, it’s hard to believe that there was

supposed to be a look over the Westpac Rescue

Helicopter. This had to be cancelled for a reason the

students immediately

appreciated – it was

called out to an


December 2006/January 2007

Pictures: courtesy of Mike McGillen


Our house

Bay/Waikato’s newest station was officially opened in early December.

Greater Tauranga has gone from an unassuming seaside

town to one of New Zealand’s six biggest cities in just 30

years. Unfortunately, the fire station set-up hasn’t kept

pace, until now.

Mt Maunganui has a new fire station as part of an ongoing

effort to improve fire coverage in the booming port city.

Tauranga CFO Ron Devlin says the station’s new site – just

3 kilometres south of the old one – captures an estimated

10,000 people more within its ideal coverage range.

Crucially, the new station will cover part of Papamoa, an

area that is rapidly sprawling beyond the capacity of the

brigade stationed there to handle it.

“It’s one of things we’re doing to drag it [Tauranga’s fire

cover] from the 60s to the 21st century.”

The station has been a long time coming, with Ron having

worked on bringing it to fruition for the entire eight years

he has been chief of the district.

6 Issue No. 26


An appeal to the Environment Court by local residents

proved to be a blessing in disguise, as the new station has

a residential feel, so that it won’t look out of place in the

residential environment it’s in.

Mt Maunganui firefighters had a hand in the lay-out of

the building, making sure BA refill and hose cleaning and

repair areas were adequate, as well as ensuring locker

space was right for the multiple crews. SO Richard

Moreland says the design work meant both firefighters

and neighbours are happy.

“I think it blends in really well. If you drove past it you

might not know it was a fire station.”

As well as the two-appliance bay and crew, the station

houses the local VSO. The only thing not shifted from the

old station was the Hazmat/command unit, which is now

at Tauranga Station.

Pictures: Craig Robertson

Calling their Bluff

Any thoughts that Southland would get a nice,

quiet Guy Fawkes period rapidly disappeared

on November 4.

Invercargill and Bluff firefighters were flat out dealing

with the unintentional, the avoidable and the

downright idiotic fires caused by the 401st

anniversary of a failed plot on England’s


A house in Crinian St, Invercargill

(top) was well alight when firefighters

arrived. One of a number of blazes

in and around the city.

In Bluff, meanwhile, a hillside

caught fire, threatening houses.

A number of crews were called in

to help.

As this pic of Invercagill firefighter

Richard Eade shows, it was

hot work.

Doomed building goes early

A fire in the boutique shopping district of

Lower Hutt saved the owner bothering

with a consent to demolish it.

The fire in late November gutted the empty

property on the corner of Jackson and Nelson

streets in trendy Petone, despite the attention of

fire crews from the Hutt and Wellington


With the bottom of the two-storey building well

alight when firefighters arrived, and the building

vacant, there wasn’t much to save.

The building was to be demolished anyway,

subject to the Hutt City Council giving approval

to the developer who owned it, but with

firefighters expressing concerns over the safety

of the property, a portion of it was torn down

just hours after the fire.

Pictures: Derek Quinn


The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007

Pictures: Barry Harcourt/Southland Times



Pictures: Manawatu Standard

One good turn…

Volunteers from around Manawatu were last month called in to one of the biggest

fires in the region for years…

The cause of a massive fire at

Rangitikei Flooring in Palmerston

North may never be known, as clues

were incinerated along with the

carpet, however CFO Rodger Calder

says the area of origin could be

determined, allowing investigators to

rule out arson.

Firefighters from Palmerston North

and surrounding volunteer stations

took three and a half hours to bring

the blaze under control, then spent

all night and most of the next day

extinguishing the fire.

Issue No. 26


“There were hundreds of rolls of

carpet and vinyl as well as glues and


“Every time a roll of carpet was

moved it would flare up again, but

we were expecting that.”

Rodger says the nature of

the burnt materials meant

smoke and water run-off

were carrying potentially

harmful toxins, so the

council was notified and

deliberately flooded drains

to dilute the water, which made its

way to the Manawatu River, so that

it would not cause harm.

The flooring company was insured

and no-one has lost work because of

the fire.

…deserves another

…so their career counterparts helped out when Foxton had its turn for a big fire.

The fire destroyed the Foxton RSA,

taking many precious pieces of warera

memorabilia with it.

An electrical fault was found to be to

blame, and strong winds didn’t help

the firefighters’ cause.

Palmerston North CFO Rodger Calder

Ashhurst firefighters

have had a gutsful

The road between Napier and Palmerston North was

strewn with an inviting combination of apples and offal

after a two-truck crash in early November.

The driver and passenger of the upturned truck had to be

taken to hospital, although neither was seriously injured,

after both trucks connected on a straight section of road

in the Manawatu town.

Four power poles down in the accident delayed the rescue

and clean-up operation.

says while the local volunteers had

the initial attack under control,

his crew came on to assist fire

management and later to relieve tired

vollies so they could rest for the next

day’s work.

“That’s something I’m always mindful

of,” says Rodger who thought

Pictures: Manawatu Standard


both career and volunteer firefighters

made the best of handling the fires.

“In both fires all the firefighters

involved did an absolutely sterling

job, they couldn’t have done anymore

than they did.”

Pictures: Manawatu Standard

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007



Pictures: Barry Harcourt/Southland Times

Crash of

the codes

Holden vs Ford is usually the clash of

the big V8 racing cars, but in Hamilton

it was played out between two standard

family cars.

The accident happened on the Tamahere straights south

of the city, and despite a size advantage, the Holden

came off worse because it was towing a boat.

One person had to be cut from the badly damaged

Holden, while two people in the Laser were injured but

able to get themselves out of the car.

Pictures: Brian Thomspon

A woman who did the right thing when her

car caught fire was relieved to be able to recover a bag of

money from the vehicle – not that she’ll get any of it.

Te Anau Lions

have cash to burn

The woman was in Te Anau collecting for the Lions

club when she noticed a strong smell of petrol and saw

smoke coming from the air vents and bonnet.

Issue No. 26


“So I stopped and got out of there, and I

left everything behind, including the


“All I could think was that the petrol could

catch fire and I’d be caught in there,” she

told the Southland Times.

Te Anau firefighters successfully put out the

fire, and while the Lions’ donations are safe

the car was a write-off.

Rushed off

their feet

Never a dull moment in Eastern as the land dries out.

A massive, suspicious scrub fire near Mohaka, a toxic

chemical fire in a dump between Hastings and Napier

and a fire that just won’t go out were among the

diversions ensuring Hawke’s Bay firefighters weren’t

bored in their work last month.

The Omaranui landfill fire was the biggest of a month

of fires, with about 100 firefighters and three helicopters

tackling a partially submerged fire caused by chemicals

reacting with each other.

The fire was still at multiple alarms the day after it

broke out.

Residents of some near-by houses were evacuated, while

those within a five-kilometre radius were advised to

keep doors and windows closed as smoke of unknown

toxicity billowed around.

Meanwhile, a sawdust fire on the road out of Napier

kept firefighters coming back for more as it refused to

be extinguished.


Pictures: Kerry Marshall, John Cowpland

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007


A museum in progress

Waipukurau Volunteer Fire Brigade, where the Queen is always welcome.

Service and history are important to

all brigades, but Waipukurau takes it

especially seriously.

The central Hawke’s Bay brigade,

located in the middle of Russell

Street, just off SH2, has a museum,

complete with a replica of one its

first appliances.

It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance,

though, being essentially a

hose reel on wheels.

A slightly better option for

the Christmas parade is the

1940s V8 Ford, which

served until the last

quarter of last century.

12 Issue No. 26

My Patch

Waipukurau’s tradition of service was

itself honoured in 2006, with two

QSMs in the top two spots.

DCFO Owen Spotswood was given

the Queen’s Service Medal as part of

the New Year’s Honours list on the

first day of this year, while CFO Gary

Weaver caught up to his deputy in

June when the Queen’s Birthday list

was announced.

Both have given more than 40 years service

as firefighters, with Owen’s 45 years at

Waipukurau meaning he shared the station

with the Ford when it was in service, while

Gary moved from near-by Takapau.

This, though, is not the story of a brigade

full of long-servers. Gary says the numbers

are healthy, with more new members than

they can strictly give places to.

Maybe the appeal is the flashy new Iveco

Type 2, which was delivered in October.

It is part of the national roll-out, and

delivered a month after the one to

neighbouring town Dannevirke. The

purpose-built urban volunteer truck will

hopefully give as much service as its

Ford V8 antecedent before possibly

becoming an addition to the well-stocked

Waipukurau fire museum.

My Patch

Pictures: Kerry Marshall, Lynda Forrest

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007


Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death, Italy won the World Cup and Kazakhstan

entered the space race – but none of that mattered a jot to Fire & Rescue. Relive the real

year that was, in the often controversial, often tangential, never dull 2006 Awards!

the service with a smile award

Being a firefighter is all about serving the community, but

there are some people who go further than others.

Winner: QFF Terry Walsh, of Clyde Volunteer

Fire Brigade, who took on a driverless boat on Lake

Dunstan with

enough enthusiasm

to fill the

Clyde Dam…and

emerged with a

mouthful of lake

water as the boat

motored away.

the riki lake award for

victim empathy

Winner: This one

goes to former Eastern

Fire Region commander

Trevor Brown who

ushered in the trial of

road safety programme

Take Control by surviving

a car accident himself

this year. Not that youthful

hoons were to blame

the other driver was an

elderly gent.


mention: Arapawa health and safety manager

Ken Clarke, who was trapped in a lift with his daughter,

and was grateful enough to send in a customer feedback

form praising his rescuers and colleagues, SSO Paul

Lyall and crew.

14 Issue No. 26

2006 Awards

lend me your years

Honourable mention: Charles Carey

(pictured, at left, with Matt

Carey snr and Matt jnr in

1929), a Patea, Taranaki,

volunteer earlier last century.

Dunno what he did exactly,

but look at all those medals!!!

Unfortunately, Charles just

misses out because his

service doesn’t fall into the

qualifying year…or even the

qualifying century, in fact.

the know how, can do,

award for technical excellence

Firefighting away from mains water supply can be a

bi…, well, a bit tricky. First a water source has to be

found, then there’s the matter of getting hoses to it.

Winner: However, a Taranaki firefighter may

have solved the problem, for urban firefighters at

least. This handy little gadget allows pumps to access

home water tanks quickly, saving precious time in

fighting house fires.

Picture: Taranaki Daily News

Picture courtesy of Mike Fleet

the tana schmana award for fire safety awareness

Winner: The Northland chap who wins this is

not known to Fire & Rescue by name. Media law being

what it is, his details were suppressed at the time they

came to our attention. That’s unimportant, though, as

his story demonstrates that he comprehensively won

the right to this award, as he should now be the most

safety-conscious person north of the Brynderwyns.

The gentleman in question was cooking one day, but

patently not looking, as his “meal” of cannabis oil

caught fire. With his smoke alarms disabled (because of

all the fumes setting them off) he took some time to

notice the resultant fire, but reacted speedily by carrying

the burning pot outside. Unfortunately, in so doing, he

caused a bigger fire inside as burning liquid slopped onto

the kitchen floor. He then went back into the now

burning house to attempt to fight the fire himself,

the alison holst award for

working with food

This award recognises not culinary talent, but bringing food in

to the workplace. Palmerston North Fire Brigade takes out the

honour for not one but two curious food incidents in 2006.

Firstly a bomb scare in the downtown office of Inland Revenue

revealed not

menace, but

mince, a whole

tub of it.

Then a durian

– a stinky Asian

fruit – caused not one but two callouts for leaking gas, which

is a spookily similar smell. The intrepid firefighters turned

out to the airport and identified the source of the problem,

but couldn’t explain who would eat anything that smelled

like LPG.

having failed to call 111 (for reasons that aren’t entirely

hard to grasp) until the house was well ablaze, and was

arrested for his troubles.

the nz knights

own-goal award

This is an award for making it that much easier

for people to catch you out. Fire & Rescue itself

takes this one, for services rendered to the

Parliamentary Opposition, after the Blokie

Award, which appeared in the last edition of

2005, became news in its own right due to

objections from a female MP.

In the ruckus that blew up around the mock

award for all-male stations a New Zealand

Herald reporter visited Auckland City station

with muffins (not the recommended scones)

and the editor of Fire

& Rescue went on

radio to defend

the ‘award’.

Sarcasm may be

the lowest form

of wit, but it

appears to be

too lofty for


2006 Awards

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007


pics of tHe buncH

Once again, we dip our lids to those in the field with the foresight to take cameras

to incidents, by presenting the Best Fire Service Pictures of 2006.

brian thompson, hamilton city.

graeme quensell, waitemata yellow watch.

geraldine fire brigade.

16 Issue No. 26

2006 Awards

peter fox, fire safety, arapawa.

matt morris, wellington city.

willowbank fire brigade.

WHat’s Hot and not


The stuff that rocked our world and ripped our knickers in ’06.

Movember has made it cool to keep

your top lip warm…sort of.

New trucks

Like new shoes, nothing beats the smell.

Backyard fireworks

Cost more and do less than the

professional displays, and we let

14 year olds have them, with the

obvious consequences.

South Taranaki District Council

Proving that size doesn’t matter, one of

the smallest councils in the country

puts its money where its mouth is on

home sprinklers.


We don’t have

al-Qaeda, just

loonies with

lighters and a


Chemical fires

Those decontamination

showers aren’t fun.

2006 Awards

Picture: Craig Robertson

The new NTC

Big, bold and better for the

planet. The Fire Service now

makes the best possible first

impression to new recruits.

Mobile P labs

Picture: Craig Robertson

What better way to

combine fire, hazardous

substances and road

accidents. And then

there’s invariably a

firearm involved.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007




The Fire Service has launched an

employer recognition programme, with

a number of volunteer brigades around

the country trialling a variety of

initiatives, including truck signage

acknowledging employers of the crew,

and certificates of appreciation for those

who let their employees drop what

they’re doing when their pagers go off.

In Greymouth, Alan McEnaney held a

function with firefighters, employers

and local MP Damien O’Connor to

launch the trial and show off their newly

adorned fire trucks.

Story and picture courtesy of the Rodney Times

Natasha Thompson has a double

identity. Most of the time she works

in a real estate office in Manly, but

when there’s trouble she’s out the

door and into a truck with her fellow

volunteers at the Manly Fire Station.

It’s not a dual role Natasha could

fulfil without her employer, real estate

agent Trevor Hyland. He lets her go

to fire calls any time of the day, as

many times as she is needed.

His unfailing support for her

lifesaving trips has earned him an

award from the Fire Service.

“We wouldn’t be able to get the truck

out the door if employers didn’t let

18 Issue No. 26

In the Community

their employees leave,” says CFO

Frank Mackereth.

“We want to get more and more

employers who release volunteers.”

Trevor is one of the first

in the Rodney District

to be recognised under a

Fire Service campaign

rewarding employers who

release their volunteer


Letting volunteers go

about their business is

more important than

losing a few minutes’ work,

says Trevor. “If someone’s

Pictures: Heather Clark

Double agent

house is burning down, that’s more

important that selling a house,” he

says. “I look at it as a community


Four in one

A Central Hawke’s Bay brigade

celebrates four times over.

Gold Stars are a frequent enough

event, even more than one Gold Star

in the same brigade, but for the

small town of Takapau the ratio

of congratulatory handshakes to

volunteer firefighters was very low

indeed recently.

Takapau Volunteer Fire Brigade

has a current membership of 11, so

when four members all passed the

The story about the Dickson and Thompson clans in Fire & Rescue 23

prompted another long-serving Fire Service family to come forward.

Former firefighter Mike Fleet’s family

has 428 years contributory service

between them, starting in the 1880s.

Matt Carey joined the Patea

volunteers in 1884, serving for 44

years. During that time he was joined

by sons Charles in 1905 and Arch in

1914, then grandson Matt junior

in 1929.

Matt senior’s grandsons George

Cosford and Milton Fleet joined

in 1936 and 1940 respectively, before

a fourth generation (Cameron

Cosford and Carey, Mike and Ross

25-year mark, less than two-thirds

of the firefighters were left without

a medal.

CFO James Ward, DCFO Andrew

Burt and station officers Tony

Drummond and Bevan Oliver were

all given their medals. Bevan is the

second generation of Oliver’s to

be a recipient of a Gold Star in

Takapau’s brigade.

Getting Carey-ed away

Fleet) added their service to the

growing tally.

Last year, Ross’s son Shaun became

the fifth generation firefighter in

the family.

The family has now given service in

full-time and volunteer stations the

length of the North Island, serving

in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Porirua,

Wanganui, Patea, Rotorua,

Kawerau, Tauranga, Hamilton,

Ngaruawahia and Kerikeri.

Eleven family members (including

Milton Fleet’s father and uncle) have

served for 30 or more years.


Proving that patience is a virtue,

James waited three years to receive

his Gold Star, so that Tony (26 years)

and the others could catch up.

With the next longest-serving

firefighter having nine years service it

will be a while before Takapau sees a

Gold Star-fest like this one.

Picture: courtesy of Mike Fleet

(Left to right) Charles, Matt

and Matt Carey jnr, c. 1929.

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007

Picture: Kerry Marshall


It’s not too late

to join the fun

Fire Service, law enforcement, customs and

corrections personnel from around the world

are being given extra time to register for the

2007 World Police & Fire Games which kick off

in Adelaide in March 2007.

More than 5,000 competitors and friends from

more than 40 countries have already registered

for the 10-day competition but organisers will

extend the deadline to January 19, 2007 to enable

as many people to register as possible.

Games board chair Bill Spurr says the World Police

& Fire Games Federation, the US-based governing

body, is delighted with the response to date and is

confident that registrations are on track because

competitors traditionally are slow to register for

the Games.

The 2007 World Police & Fire Games will be held in

Adelaide from March 16 – 25, 2007

“Of the 79 events, track cycling at the velodrome

is already near capacity with golf, road cycling

and triathlon also proving extremely popular,”

Bill says.

In addition to the sports featured in the Olympic

Games, the games will also hold events that have

been specifically designed to challenge the agencies’

professional skills, such as Toughest Competitor

Alive and the Ultimate Firefighter.

20 Issue No. 26



Fun & Games

Event Calendar

2 0 0 7


Presenting a float for the annual Alexandra blossom

festival was a mammoth task in more ways than one.

National 7-a-side Soccer



February 9 & 10, 2007

Contact: Tony Kelly, (07) 348 3197


QFF Brendon Walker keeps

an eye on “Manny”.

This year’s parade, in September, was the 50th anniversary

of the first blossom festival, so local volunteer

firefighters and their families went all out to produce

a fitting tribute.

They chose an Ice Age theme, with characters from the

animated film such as Manny the Mammoth and Sid the

Sloth adorning the two-part float.

Brigade members and their families spent countless

hours putting 50,000 hand-made crepe paper flowers

onto the frame.

They were rewarded for their efforts with second place in

vote for best float, just 50 votes behind the winner.

About 25,000 people watched float go down Alexandra’s

Main Street.

National Surfriding


New Plymouth

March 4 – 8, 2007


Entry forms and contacts for some events are available online at Firenet or

Picture: Sarah Walker




March 16


Police & Fire

If at first you don’t succeed…

After a decade of trying, the Fire Service team finally managed to

win the corporate section of Christchurch’s AMP Multisport race.

Story by Symon Mitchell

The race, which attracts top

multisporters from around New

Zealand, begins with a run from

Cathedral Square towards the Port

Hills along Colombo Street and over

Rapaki Track to Lyttelton.

Cyclists then slog 35kms over Evans

Pass through Sumner and Brighton to

Kerrs Reach, where kayakers work

their way up the Avon River to finish

in Victoria Square.

For corporate competitors, the run is

split into 2 sections. For the Fire

Service team Danny Carmine ran the

first 7km to the transition at Rapaki


– 15, 2007

National Lawn Bowls



March 28 & 29, 2007

Contact: Jim Rogers (07) 378 5726


Track and Mark “Felix” Lidiard ran

the hill section over to Lyttelton.

This pair put the team into a leading

position in their section and in 13th

place overall.

Symon Mitchell then took over for

the bike section, maintaining the lead,

which was triumphantly finished by

kayaker Peter Scarlett.

Peter, an Invercargill firefighter, flew

up to Christchurch to help out.

The team’s winning time was two

hours 37 minutes, a good five minutes

clear of the second place corporate

team and 13th place overall.

Fun & Games

National Squash Tournament

New Plymouth

NEW DATE April 27 – 29, 2007

Contact: Sam Bennett or Rachel Lind

New Plymouth Fire Station


The fastest ‘open’ team, in a time of

two hours 17 minutes, was that of

Phil Costley, Darryl Kircher and

Dave Hunter who have all represented

New Zealand in their respective


The Christchurch brigade has

regularly competed in this event with

the support of CFOs Paul Burns and

Steve Barclay before him, and it is

great to finally get a win.

A number of good local events are

coming up over the summer so maybe

we will see more firefighter teams out

there collecting a few more trophies.

To list your sporting event on this space please send details to:

Pictures: Kevin Clarke Photography

Taranaki Toughest



April 29, 2007


The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007


22 Issue No. 26


New Zealand Fire Service Surf

Riding Championships 2007

The 2007 NZFS Surf Riding Championships will again be hosted

by the New Plymouth Fire Brigade from March 4 – 8, 2007.

Competitors may enter a total of two divisions each.

Divisions are:

• Open • Women • Long board • Under 40 years • 40 to 49 years

• 50 plus years • Novice • Still can’t stand • Body/boogey/kneelos board

Teams – teams of four with each member gaining points by their finishing

status in two events to go towards the teams trophy

Entry is open to all present and past members of the

New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority and

their partners / spouses.

For full details and an entry form go to fire net/sports/surfing or contact the

event co-ordinator Allen Pidwell at



During the last conference in the

Hawke’s Bay, the volunteer CFO from

Pongaroa suffered a minor heart attack.

On behalf of his family, I’d like to

thank all those who went to his aid,

and looked after him. John is now

recuperating back home and facing a

bypass early next year. He is still raving

about the support he had, as well as

the visits in hospital from Hawke’s Bay

and the wider Fire Service.

Thank you.

Malcolm Eunson

Fire Camp 2007

Is on its way!

Hosted by the Te Puke Volunteer Fire Brigade

Mark your calendar:

Friday 28 to Sunday 30 September 2007

Look out for registration forms early next year.

Open for all ranks that are BA qualified,

limited places available.

Any enquiries to

or call Rachel 07-573-9911

The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine December 2006/January 2007


The New Zealand Fire Service Magazine

Published December 2006

By the New Zealand Fire Service

Media, Promotions & Communications

National Headquarters, Wellington

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