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Build Up of Ruapehu Rural Fire Fighting Capability Continues

29 August 2013

Build Up of Ruapehu Rural Fire Fighting Capability Continues

Ruapehu’s latest newly qualified volunteer rural fire fighters were awarded their NZQA certificates for completing basic training at ceremonies at Ruapehu District Council (RDC) this week.

The six volunteer rural firefighters were awarded qualification certificates for completing stage one of the rural firefighting training syllabus.

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Rural Fire Officer, Nick Watson, said the qualifications gave the rural fire volunteers the basic skills to operate safely and effectively at the scene of a rural fire.

“The two day course covered the theory and practice of five basic skill areas,” he said.

“This covered; safety on the fire ground, hand tools, portable pumps, additives and water suppression and establishing and delivering water supplies.”

Mr Watson said that one of his key objectives is to build up the capability of Ruapehu’s volunteer rural fire fighting force.

“As the district territorial authority council has a legislated responsibility to provide the rural fire fighting response for Ruapehu so we must ensure the district is self-sufficient in this area.

“Last fire season Ruapehu was hit hard by the drought conditions that saw the Rural Fire volunteers called out over 50 times.

“This compares to only 11 callouts in the previous year.”

Mr Watson added that with the current weather patterns it is anticipated that callouts to our volunteer rural fighting team will remain at these levels into the future.

“Council has responded by increasing our rural fire fighting budget,” he said.

“This has been spent on new protective gear, equipment maintenance and training.”

Mr Watson noted however that all the equipment in the world was of no value without the trained volunteers to operate them.

“It is important to remember that we are a volunteer service and as such are always interested in hearing from community minded people who may want to join us.

“We have all sorts of jobs for people of all ages and abilities so people shouldn’t be worried that volunteering means they will automatically be thrown onto the fire front with a 50kg pack on their back.

“Anyone over 17 years and older with a clean criminal record is welcome to apply.

“If anyone is interested in joining the volunteer fire service they can contact me via their local council office.”

ENDS

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