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New fire truck supports fire response

8 October 2004

New fire truck supports fire response capabilities for Great Barrier

Great Barrier Island has increased fire-fighting provision with the arrival of a new rural fire appliance on the island.

The new addition, an Australian-made Isuzu 4WD truck, was shipped to New Zealand along with six other appliances destined for new homes around the country.

“This new fire appliance is designed specifically for rural settings. With its compact size and 4WD capability it will give us increased capability to respond to fires on Great Barrier,” says Greg Reid, Team Leader, Hauraki Gulf Islands.

Auckland City contributed close to $30,000 toward the purchase of the engine, with the rest of the $120,000 cost subsidised by the National Rural Fire Authority. “The new appliance will be a great asset, with the capacity to carry a crew of three fire fighters and 1800 litres of water,” says Mr Reid. It is also equipped with foam delivery systems.

The new engine will be based at Claris and will provide the first response for any action required at the Island's Claris airfield.

"Fire is one of the island’s greatest concerns, and prevention is our greatest defence against it,” says Cushla Buchanan, deputy principal rural fire officer. “Volunteers form the back bone of our call out response and without their continued commitment our ability to respond effectively would not exist. It is difficult to thank these people enough."

To support the protection of the Hauraki Gulf Islands there is a year round restricted fire season in place on Great Barrier, Rakino and other inner gulf Islands including the rural areas of Waiheke. The restriction prohibits the lighting of any fire in the open air, unless a fire permit has been issued (gas barbecues are exempt from these restrictions).

Fire permits are available free of charge and can be obtained by contacting the Auckland City Great Barrier Service Centre (09 429 0258 or 09 307 7661) or the Department of Conservation Field Centre at Port Fitzroy (09 429 0044). Prior to issuing a permit, a fire officer will inspect the location of the proposed fire and apply conditions to the permit to ensure that risks are minimised. The local voluntary rural fire service will be notified of the permit details to reduce false alarm call outs.

ENDS

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