Quarter of a century fighting fires
Fighting fires and providing medical aid is all part of the job for Bill Neate.
The volunteer firefighter was honoured for 25 years service with the Titahi Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade at the weekend.
He received a medal from the United Fire Brigades’ Association, becoming a member of its Gold Star group at an award ceremony on Saturday night.
Among the 100 invited guests were Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett, Mana MP Kris Faafoi and list MP Hekia Parata.
Mr Neate was also made a life member of the Titahi Bay brigade, joining their six other Gold Star recipients.
Senior Station Officer Neate joined the brigade after emigrating from the UK with his wife more than 25 years ago. He says it was a great way to meet people, many whom he now calls lifelong friends.
‘‘We have a good social side. I enjoy the camaraderie.’’
The brigade has responded to about 9000 call- outs in Mr Neate’s 25 years, from house fires and car accidents to medical emergencies.
‘‘I love this place, and I like helping the community’’, he says. ‘‘We generally know the people, which sometimes can be a little bit harder. But we are just doing our job.’’