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.

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