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Port Charles firefighters get new "smoke chaser"

Port Charles firefighters get new "smoke chaser"

Our volunteer firefighters on the Port Charles Rural Fire Force have a new "smoke chaser" thanks to our Council and the National Rural Fire Authority.

The vehicle is a Mazda BT50 Double Cab Utility, purchased recently by our Council with the assistance of a 50% subsidy from the National Rural Fire Authority.

The "smoke chaser" is equipped with fire suppression equipment, emergency lighting, siren and radios.

At the official handover this week at our Council's Thames Service Centre on Mackay Street, Lettecia Williams, Port Charles Fire Chief, said her team was very excited about the new vehicle because it could safely carry five crew when responding to emergency calls in the northern Coromandel Peninsula.

She said it was a vast improvement on their previous 35-year-old single cab utility, which could only carry two people.

That's not enough crew to fight a fire, so more firefighters would have to follow in a private vehicle.

"The Port Charles Fire Force is the most remote in the Coromandel," says Del Read, Principal Rural Fire Officer for Thames Valley Rural Fire Authority.

"We have nine such rural fire forces in the District, all funded by our Council, and they're all staffed by volunteers - no one gets paid," he says.

"They're responding to call-outs to all sorts of situations in all sorts of weather, and they really need equipment that is up to the job. This new "smoke chaser" can go anywhere, it's easier to drive than the old one - it has power steering - and it will be much more reliable," Mr Read says.

Read more about fire safety in the Coromandel: www.tcdc.govt.nz/firesafety

ENDS

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