First-timers take out the trophy
Paekakariki’s volunteer firefighters have proved the town is in capable hands, winning the Mana Cup in a series of firefighting drills.
Competing against Tawa, Porirua, Titahi Bay and Plimmerton’s volunteer brigades on August 11, Paekakariki won in their first showing at the competition, held at the police college in Porirua.
Firefighter Ben Flynn said the team was pleased to score a firstup win.
‘‘It’s been going for a few years now, but this is the first time they’ve extended the olive branch out to Paekakariki,’’ he said.
‘‘Unfortunately they might take back that invitation next year after we took it out. Let’s hope they don’t though.’’
The brigades had to compete in four events: search and rescue, rural firefighting, hazardous substances and motor vehicle crash.
Paekakariki won the motor vehicle challenge and rural firefighting, and finished second in the search and rescue.
In the search and rescue, fire- fighters had to search a house for two people in zero visibility.
For rural firefighting they had to make fire-breaks and prevent the spread of a bush fire, while in the hazardous chemicals test they had to identify and deal with a dangerous substance.
Paekakariki’s ‘‘bread and butter’’ was car crashes, which make up the majority of the brigade’s callouts.
‘‘The judges said to us they’d be judging us pretty hard for that challenge, because we are the only ones who get to go and do that sort of thing all the time.
‘‘Most of our calls are on State Highway 1.
‘‘Even though they judged us hard, we still won it.’’
Paekakariki fire chief Paul Furfie said it was a good performance by his crew, and showed the high level of training and skill the firefighters had.
Hot team: Paekakariki takes the Mana Cup, from left, Aaron Richardson, Matt Ralph, Reuben Drew, Sarah Carter, Ben Flynn and Steve Reeves.