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New Volunteer Rural Fire Fighters

New Volunteer Rural Fire Fighters

Rural fire fighting in Ruapehu has had a boost with nine new rural fire fighters completing the ‘Basic Rural Fire Fighter Course’ at Taumarunui air field over the weekend.

The two day NZQA recognised course provides the basic skills and knowledge to allow volunteer rural fire fighters to operate safely in a live rural fire fighting situation.

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Principal Rural Fire Officer, Nick Watson, said that it was vital to an area such as Ruapehu to have a depth of well-trained rural fire volunteers available.

“Over the two days the training covered; safe work practices, personal safety, dry and water fire-fighting techniques, getting water to the fire-front and the use of two-way radios,” he said.

“The trainees were made up of Ruapehu Rural Fire volunteers and Department of Conservation staff.”

“Ruapehu covers a big area and we are almost wholly dependent on having volunteers located around the district to provide this vital public service to our rural communities.”

“Many people do not realise the degree of dedication that rural fire fighters and other emergency response personnel need to put into on-going training and remaining on a constant state of readiness.”

“Without volunteers such as these people who gave-up their weekend to complete the course our core rescue and emergency response services would not be able to operate.”

Mr Watson said a special thank you needed to be made to Paddy Driver from the Tararua District Council who was the Tutor/Assessor for the weekend’s training.

“RDC is always keen to hear from people who would like to find out more about being a rural fire fighting volunteer,” he said.

“Anyone who would like to know more about what is involved in becoming a rural volunteer fire fighter can contact me via their nearest RDC office.”

“To be a rural fire volunteer you need to be at least 17 years old and not have a criminal record.”

Mr Watson stressed that people shouldn’t be nervous about looking into what’s involved.

“There are a number of roles that don’t require any firefighting so we really are looking for a wide range of people of different skills and abilities.”

“Rural fire is a true equal opportunities organisation,” he said.

“The most important motivation for anyone considering being a volunteer fire fighter is the desire to serve their community.”


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