Brigade salutes officers
Putaruru Volunteer Fire Brigade held an honours night to celebrate members who have given years of service.
Two such members were senior firefighter Sue Carter, who has given 11 years of service, and Chief Fire Officer Graeme Hoole, who marked his 35th year.
Sue’s achievement also means she is the first woman to reach that mark.
‘‘Actually it was the chief who approached me because during the day it was so hard to get people who weren’t tied up to come down here.
‘‘So I thought I would give it a go,’’ she said.
‘‘ My previous employers have been really good in that they have let me go to calls.’’
Sue said the highlight of her time was experiencing the camaraderie of the crew.
‘‘Definitely the team. Working with all of the new people coming through . . . really good team spirit, going out and helping people.
‘‘You get a real buzz out of someone thanking you.’’
For Graeme, joining the volunteer fire brigade was a way of following in his father’s footsteps.
‘‘ When I joined 35 years ago it was a great buzz to go fight fires.
‘‘When it progresses you become more community orientated and you are out there to support the community.’’
Prior to moving to Putaruru, Graeme spent nine years in Te Kuiti.
He recalled the biggest fire he had witnessed.
‘‘ Probably the best fire that we ever had was the ShopRite supermarket. That was probably the best fire that we have ever seen.’’
Graeme said he dreaded going to motor vehicle accidents.
‘‘Especially with children. You never know until you get there but one of them could be your friend or next door neighbour,’’ he said.
HONOURED: Putaruru Volunteer Fire Brigade senior firefighter Sue Carter and Chief Fire Officer Graeme Hoole were recognised for their years of service.