Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


New Zealand Fire Service and USAR - Update March 2nd 5.30pm

New Zealand Fire Service and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
Media update
Wednesday March 2 2011 5.30

USAR
• Grand Chancellor – NZ USAR confirm they have now searched beyond the 10th floor . Search of the remainder of the building is almost complete however parts of the stairwell remain a problem due to rubble. Searching of surrounding buildings is now complete.

• Forsyth Barr building - The USA team described this as a major technical job. Completion of this work is estimated at around 3 days. There are no stairs available for access below the 10th floor. This requires the USAR team to use lines to descend down the stairwell.

• CTV building - NZ/Japan/China teams are still working on what is a very slow and technical operation and requires good daylight visibility.

• Cathedral - The steel support structure is now in place and is being secured to the unstable brick wall. Teams may be in a position to go inside the spire and start searching during the night.

• Pyne Gould – The delayering process of the concrete floors of the building continues with the UK and NZ teams estimating that the work will continue for another 4 days.

• Winds – Stronger winds today have reduced some USAR operations – we are reviewing aerial operations such as the use of helicopters and cranes as sustained winds may impact on these operations. To maintain safety of our personnel we continue to review the situation.

• Planning is in progress for the next phase of USAR operations expanding to develop safe access routes and the controlled deconstruction and clearing of debris whilst continuing to search for victims. Work will continue on the key sites already mentioned.

• Operations outside the cordon – Civil Defence response teams, Fire Service general operations staff and Police continue to visit streets and premises to reassure and support people, and if required can and will respond with specialist USAR.


USAR Welfare
• Asbestos is not a public health issue at this point. It is more an issue for responders and contractors on some sites to consider. USAR operations are used to these types of hazards and have systems, processes and protective clothing in place. We are monitoring any potential risk and are considering further mitigation strategies if required and are working with Civil Defence, Health and Department of Labour.
• The morale of personnel is good and everyone remains committed to the task at hand.

Reference Notes
• CTV – Japan, NZ and China daylight operations only
• Pyne Gould – UK
• Cathedral – NZ
• Forsythe Barr – USA and NZ
• Grand Chancellor - NZ
• Other teams continue block by block activities.
• There are eight countries represented in USAR. These include 3 NZ taskforces, Japan (1), Taiwan(1), Singapore(1), UK (1), USA(1 from LA), Australia (2 Queensland and NSW).
• Queensland are planning to rotate fresh staff over the next few days.

Public Information
• There is a total fire ban in place. Given the winds today it is important that this ban is strictly adhered to. Also stay away from any chimneys and roofs that look unstable or insecure.
• The Fire Service has had a number of enquiries regarding the safe use of fires in homes. Please ensure your chimneys and flues are checked by professionals first.
• The number of fire calls have been down in the past few days in Christchurch which indicates that the public understands and is being responsible with regard to fire safety messages about the use of electricity, chimneys and flues and the total fire ban. However, if there are genuine emergencies please call 111 as our operational crews are available to assist in a ‘business as usual’ capacity.

Please note that these NZ Fire Service/USAR updates are also displayed on the screen on the outside of the NZ Fire Service Gallery Command Unit (the red Fire Service truck outside the Art Gallery building near here on Montreal St).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news