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NZ Fire Service: 111 response accurate

22 February 2006

NZ Fire Service: 111 response accurate

An initial Fire Service investigation has confirmed the communication centre sent firefighters to the correct address at a Paraparaumu fire yesterday morning.

Communication Centre Director Ian Pickard said the Fire Service had reviewed the tapes from the incident.

It received 50 111 calls about the fire in Karekare Road. The first call was to Karekare Road from a next door neighbour who reported that the conservatory had “blown out” on the house next door.

The two damaged properties ran from Karekare Road through to Forest Lane. Mr Pickard said the first fire engine was dispatched to Karekare Road based on several 111 calls and before the call came through from a firefighter’s wife who gave the address of Forest Lane.

“The first fire engine got there in 10 minutes 14 seconds after receiving the first call. The fire was already well advanced and we believe the subsequent address information had no bearing on the outcome.”

Fire crews had begun fighting the fire by the time the Wellington firefighter, who lived at the neighbouring property, rang from Wellington to provide information about the Forest Lane entrance.

“The communication centre’s job is to pass on the most relevant information and information from the scene is more useful than information provided by someone 50 kms away,” Mr Pickard said.

“The Fire Service is disappointed to lose any property to fire, but in this case we believe that our communication centre staff and the firefighters who attended all responded professionally and within Fire Service guidelines.

“We will, however, do a full review of 111 response to the fire to confirm that there was nothing we could have done better.”

ENDS

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