Fire brigade, schools benefit from farmers’ auction
Omakau firefighters hope a new $34,000 machine will help prevent the one or two sudden deaths the first response team attends in the area each year.
The new Lifepak 15, used to assess a patient’s health, would be purchased using about half of the $70,000 raised at this year’s annual Central Otago Winter Feed Competition auction.
The other half of the money had been allocated to Omakau and Poolburn schools and to the Omakau-Earnscleugh Collie Club.
Omakau chief fire officer Ian Rietveld said without the donation from the farmers’ auction, it would have been another five years before they could have purchased the equipment themselves.
There were some really remote areas the first response team ventured to, Rietveld said.
The machine measured things like blood pressure and monitored heart rates of which up to 50 people a year would benefit from, he said.
Central Otago Winter Feed Competition chairman Paul McCarthy said being able to give $70,000 to local organisations was a credit to farmers.
About 220 people attended the Rabobank sponsored Winterfeed auction evening at the Alexandra RSA on May 12.
About 80 crops were entered and were judged on weight and quality.
Lauder’s Marcus Hamilton was the overall winner.
Omakau Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Ian Rietveld, left, and deputy Lloyd Harris with Omakau School pupils Anna Duncan, 13, and Ella Ewings, 6, Winter Feed chairman Paul McCarthy and Rabobank’s Jacqueline Manson.