Puhoi Fire Brigade Report for the Forum Meeting.
The current workload is light, which seems to be consistent with most of the other rural brigades under the Auckland Council Rural Fire Authority. As with other years specialist training is in full swing during winter and is happening most weekends- 2 more crew have now done USAR (urban search and rescue) training to ‘Orange Card’ status- the highest a rural fire fighter can obtain- we now have 7 crew at that level. We certainly had a wary eye on the earthquakes in Wellington the other day!
We have been called out to land the Westpac helicopter a couple of times lately and it certainly is an impressive machine and its ability to save lives by getting patients to hospital in the quickest possible time is with out question. Any donations made to Westpac is very worthwhile.
We have also done some flooding calls and I have dealt with ‘smoke nuisance’ calls too- yes it is an open season for fires but the smoke from your fire is not allowed to become a nuisance to your neighbours- please have some consideration in regards to this.
Currently we have a crew of 11 and as always we would welcome any person, male or female,16 years and older to come along and join- the main criteria is a pulse and a heartbeat and the ability to be able to respond to the station, at normal road speed and within the road rules, in around 5 minutes or less.
The Fire Station project continues with our Expressions of Interest to build a Fire Station generating 7 enquiries from various builders. Currently the Fire Station Committee is dealing with 4 of those builders in regards to design,etc. As it’s a moving target at this stage we haven’t got a fixed or finalized design to share with the community yet-but once we do settle on something then we will introduce it to the community for feedback. Clearly the Resource Consent and the Building Code dictate the majority of the design criteria. We hope to be building late this year or early next year.
We now have access to the property and the house at 52 Ahuroa Road so you will start to see some activity there.
The Council has asked that we advertise the house for removal, as well as the tin shed and so if anyone is interested in either one or both of them then please contact me. The water tank is for sale too.
And thanks heaps to Ross Tohlopf for mowing the section for us as we start to tidy it up.
Apparently there was some discussion at the last forum meeting re the ability for the Brigade to be fully functional without a water tanker at our station.
A tanker is a bonus but not a prerequisite to a fire brigade. As explained at an earlier forum meeting there were several reasons the tanker was not repaired and therefore removed from the station- age of tanker, repair costs, and strategic location to name a couple. Auckland Rural Fire consider Puhoi as not requiring one at this point in time and they make the rules and have the cheque book!!
Most brigade’s DON’T have tankers, Ahuroa, Kaukapakapa, Muriwai, Waitakere, Karekare to name a few fellow rural brigades. Warkworth, Wellsford, Helensville, to name a few NZ Fire Service Brigades. Our nearest tanker is Silverdale and then Matakana.
Our fire appliance carries 1300 litres of water and as we are always backed up by Silverdale or Warkworth then obviously their respective appliances carry water too. Any significant fire then a tanker would be responded in the first instance anyway. Every house in Puhoi has a water tank as well that we can access if need be.
So as much as we would have liked to keep our tanker, the decision wasn’t ours to make in the end ( Auckland Council fund us and all our vehicles) and we will adapt as need be to ensure we can continue to protect the community the best we can.
Further to the above,our existing Medical ute is about to be replaced with a much more modern ute that is equipped with a ‘Fire Fogger’ unit on the back so it has fire fighting capabilities as well as doubling for first response/medical purposes. This ‘Fire Fogger’ unit is the FIRST one in NZ and Puhoi is to get it so we are pretty excited about that- the new technology will allow us to put out fires with the minimum amount of water and the test video’s certainly look impressive in regards to that. We hope to get this by late October, so if anyone wants to buy our old 4wd,Mazda Bounty ute, one careful owner then let me know.( sorry lights and sirens will be removed!)
So until next time, stay safe and thank you for your support.
If you require the brigade then always ring 111 and ask for fire.
CFO Russell Green