Bri­gade to hold open day

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Ti­tahi Bay Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade is throw­ing its dou­ble- height doors open to the pub­lic this Satur­day and hopes to throw some light on emer­gency pre­pared­ness in the process.

The sta­tion is host­ing a Com­mu­nity Aware­ness Day, a on­estop-shop of emer­gency ser­vices where the com­mu­nity can plan to­gether how they will face a cri­sis.

At the open day will be Mana Coast­guard, Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance, the Ti­tahi Bay Surf Lifesaving Club and the Welling­ton Re­gional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Of­fice.

Se­nior sta­tion of­fi­cer Sean Malone says it will be an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to see how the sta­tion works, and get to know the vol­un­teers. ‘‘From an out­sider’s per­spec­tive it seems like a closed shop. It gives the com­mu­nity a chance to see what’s in­side,’’ Mr Malone says.

Vol­un­teers will be avail­able to dis­cuss is­sues that af­fect the com­mu­nity, such as the siren test at noon on Satur­days. The bri­gade is con­sid­er­ing mov­ing the test to Wed­nes­day night, which has up­set some res­i­dents for whom the siren is an in­te­gral part of Bay life, Mr Malone says.

Res­i­dents will be able to sign up for a free smoke alarm in­stal­la­tion, and can do­nate money to the bri­gade’s Sky­tower Chal­lenge fundrais­ing ef­fort.

The day is be­ing driven by Paula Birnie from the re­cently formed Ti­tahi Bay Com­mu­nity Trust. She says many peo­ple have no idea what to do in an emer­gency, or if they have a plan they of­ten don’t share it with neigh­bours.

‘‘At the moment we’d be lucky if most peo­ple know that the civil de­fence cen­tre has moved from the fire bri­gade to Ti­tahi Bay School,’’ she says.

‘‘There’s a lot of peo­ple that are do­ing their own thing but no­body talks to each other about shar­ing the plan.’’

The day will also be an op­por­tu­nity for emer­gency ser­vices to fos­ter re­la­tion­ships with each other, Ms Birnie says.

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