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Civil Defence Volunteers Honoured by North Shore C

Civil Defence Volunteers Honoured by North Shore City

The thousands of unpaid hours that Civil Defence volunteers put into training and practice were recognised by North Shore City last week.

North Shore Civil Defence depends on scores of volunteers to help in civil emergencies - and they offer a wide range of skills and experience to the city's Civil Defence organisation. Volunteer Civil Defence groups provide specialist services - search and rescue, communications, welfare and first aid.

Last week 12 members of the Initial Response Unit were honoured with certificates and a ceremony at North Shore CD HQ on East Coast Rd, and thanked for their services by the city's deputy mayor, Dianne Hale.

Councillor Hale says that without the dedication and knowledge given so willingly and ably by the volunteers, it would be very difficult to provide an efficient and responsive civil defence effort

Members of the Initial Response Unit have averaged more than seven years of service, with one - Peter Halliwell, of Glenfield clocking up nearly twice that.

Mr Halliwell is chief rescue officer and trainer for Civil Defence; a volunteer Search & Rescue team member for the police; and a qualified St John volunteer ambulance officer.

Dianne Hale says Mr Halliwell has gained all these qualifications at his own expense, yet Peter also works full time as a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Co-ordinator with Air New Zealand.

Since its founding in 1988 the Initial Response Unit has grown into a more qualified and competent response organisation, to primarily support the North Shore City in the event of a crisis.

In February this year the team competed in ResEx 2002 at Lake Taupo and came back with six awards, including Best Overall Team, Best Team Leader and winning four out of the eight scenarios. The team has since been involved in a number of training exercises and competitions, and members have attained a range of qualifications particularly in Urban Search and Rescue.

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