Champ fire­fight­ers

First-timers take out the tro­phy

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS/STYLE - By BEN STRANG

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.

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