Out with the old and in with the new

South Waikato News - - Out & About - LUKE KIRKEBY

The peo­ple of Ti­rau are see­ing red af­ter months of gen­er­ous fundrais­ing for their vol­un­teer fire brigade.

Red in the form of a brand new first re­sponse ve­hi­cle that is.

The new ve­hi­cle has been pur­chased to re­place the brigade’s tired 1994 Chevy which was a former am­bu­lance.

Chief fire of­fi­cer Jim Phillips said the new ve­hi­cle will be a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment.

‘‘The safety rat­ing of the old Chevy was quite low and when we were car­ry­ing ex­tra per­son­nel out to scenes they were ac­tu­ally hav­ing to ride in the back with the gear strapped down around them so it was not very safe prac­tice,’’ he said.

‘‘The new ve­hi­cle is a lot safer and it is four wheel drive which will al­low us bet­ter ac­cess to re­mote ar­eas in the ru­ral com­mu­nity.’’

‘‘We had our first call to a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent on Satur­day and it is a lot bet­ter to drive,’’ he laughed.

He said it would not have been pos­si­ble with­out com­mu­nity sup­port.

‘‘One of the big con­trib­u­tors to get­ting the new ve­hi­cle was one of my fire fight­ers Dave Fisher and his wife Kelly. They farm just out of town and do­nated their Farm Source points, so that, along with

‘‘The new ve­hi­cle is a lot safer and it is four wheel drive which will al­low us bet­ter ac­cess to re­mote ar­eas in the ru­ral com­mu­nity.’’

other ma­jor and mi­nor spon­sors al­lowed us to purchase the ve­hi­cle through Fairview Mazda,’’ he said.

‘‘Beaut Utes Hamil­ton kit­ted it out with a canopy and it’s got bull bars and a winch on the front, as well as rear bars to pro­tect the ve­hi­cle as well, and Vis­ual Ef­fects in Mata­mata did all the sign writ­ing.’’

‘‘With­out the as­sis­tance of spon­sors it would not have been pos­si­ble to get what we have got, they all re­ally came on board so I thank them all,’’ he said.

He said over time the brigade also needs to purchase more gear for the new ve­hi­cle.

‘‘It is fully funded and op­er­ated by the Ti­rau Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade, it’s not a fire ser­vice as­set which only cov­ers the in­sur­ance, so we do rely on do­na­tions,’’ he said.

He said the old Chevy is be­ing de­com­mis­sioned and will be up for sale in two weeks.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Ti­rau Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade’s Jim Phillips and Dave Fisher.

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