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Lending a helping hand

April 18, 2005

Lending a helping hand

When Greenhithe Volunteer Fire Brigade found itself in a hot spot, North Shore City Council was happy to lend a hand.

It donated plants and two day's worth of labour to get the station looking its best for inspection by representatives of the Fire Service's national commander.

The Greenhithe station, at 5 Greenhithe Rd, is one of four finalists in the first Fire Station of the Year Awards, and the only one from the Auckland region.

North Shore City's community services and parks committee chairperson, Margaret Miles, says the building is at the heart of the community.

"It's well used by plenty of other groups such as Scouts, walking groups, and for fire safety lessons for pre-school children," she says.

Greenhithe Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer, Gareth Wallis, says being notified that the station was a finalist - and the inspection - came as a surprise.

"We were in the process of doing a lot of work to upgrade different parts of the station with money from the Fire Service and the Lion Foundation, but we knew we couldn't get the outside work done in time," he says.

While the council has been working outside to put in native and exotic plants and lay 40m of couch turf grass, the station's volunteers and other helpers have been busy finishing renovations to the kitchen, bathroom and training room.

"It's a matter of pride," says Mr Wallis.

The final four volunteer stations will be judged on readiness and response, preparation, fire safety promotion, the condition of the station and its equipment, recruitment strategies, health and safety, and its contribution to the local community.

The overall cost of the project to council is expected to be about $5000.

In June last year North Shore City mayor, George Wood, presented Greenhithe Volunteer Fire Brigade with a defibrillator, which had been fundraised for by Greenhithe Lions.

ENDS

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