Dads inspire firefighters
Award- winning Matamata firefighters say they were inspired to join the brigade to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and to give back to their community.
The Matamata firefighter of the year, Dane Lowe, who has been with the Matamata fire brigade for 13 years, joined because his dad volunteered for the brigade, he said.
Family connections were big motivations for the other award winners.
Dan Huteson received two of the five trophies up for grabs at the Matamata fire service’s end of year Christmas party.
He received the Bromell Trophy, which is for team player of the year.
‘‘This is for the firefighter that has been willing to help in all aspects of brigade, not just the firefighting side, it may include fire safety and installing smoke alarms just to name a few areas,’’ Matamata fire chief Kevin Curtis said.
Huteson also received the Olsen Trophy, which is voted on by brigade members at the November meeting.
Huteson said he volunteered to be part of the brigade coming up two years ago because his dad had been in the fire service and he also wanted to give back to the community.
The other award winners, Daniel Ellis and Ruben Wooliams, echoed those sentiments.
Ellis received the Feek Trophy for his great maintenance of his fire vehicle. Wooliams gained the Hunter Trophy for attendance at musters and trainings throughout the year. He has been named firefighter of the year in the past and received the Feek Trophy last year.
PROUD FIREFIGHTERS: Matamata volunteer firefighters, from left, Ruben Wooliams, Daniel Ellis, Dane Lowe and Dan Huteson with their awards.