Trevor Beale retires with Gold Star
While it was a sad time in some ways for the retiring fire chief, it was also a milestone when he was presented with his 25-year service gold star at the Herbertville Fire Station recently.
Trevor Beale has led the rural Herbertville fire crew for 25 years and has been a stalwart of the brigade, said Gary Lockyer, general manager rural for Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
“These are special evenings when we come together to recognise a great mate. I’ve had some really interesting emails and phone calls from Trevor and to come and visit firefighters here in Herbertville gives us a real reality check. Trevor, know you are passionate and loyal and your leadership is well known and you’ve obviously worked hard.”
Members of brigades from Dannevirke, Akitio, Weber and Te Uri attended the function, where Trevor said he had concerns he wanted to get off his chest.
“I want Gary to get the problem with the non-callout of our medical support sorted,” he said. “It’s not good enough. We have got the medically qualified personnel, medical kits, oxygen and a defibrillator, but our trained staff don’t get called up.” Trevor said the situation had arisen since the change to FENZ.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis said. “The role of volunteer firefighters has changed, where once they were called just to fires, now their callouts are likely to car accidents and medical assists. Their commitment they give so generously to our community is huge.
“You are the first responders to our communities and these small communities are at the heart of the Tararua District. I give my heartfelt thanks to you, your partners and families for their sacrifices.”
Collis acknowledged firefighters’ partners’ commitment, patience and sacrifice.
Trevor has also been busy raising funds through the Dannevegas to Herby four-wheel drive rally and other events.
“You are pretty handy with a chainsaw too,” Collis said.
Trevor shares his skills running first aid training courses with young doctors in Dannevirke, along with organisations such as St John.
“Never tell Trevor it can’t be done,” Collis said. “The marine radio at Herbertville is an example of his can-do attitude. Looking after people has been at the heart of everything Trevor does. He goes above and beyond the call of duty and his has been an outstanding 25 years of service.”
Paddy Driver, the former principal rural fire officer for the Tararua District, said it had been a real honour to work with Trevor.
“He’s passionate about rural fire services and the sort of bloke who will help anyone in need,” he said.
Blair King of Dannevirke Volunteer Fire Brigade and council chief executive, said being in a brigade with Trevor is all about what others need.
“He’s not interested in rank or role,” he said. “Things just happen and that’s the hallmark of a leader.”
Trevor was instrumental in the building of the new $140,000 fire station at Herbertville. Without his push Herbertville wouldn’t have their facility — he led the charge, he said.
Trevor said he couldn’t have achieved what he had without a great crew behind him.
“I couldn’t have achieved anything. You all helped,” he said. “At the end of the day what all good firefighters should have is a facility like this.”
Just as the new fire station was completed, Trevor told Paddy he wanted to put in a bar, but was told no.
“He said I could put in a servery, so one day Paddy offered to drive a trailer out to Herbertville for me, with the ‘servery’ on board,” he said. “Poor Paddy, he said to me, ‘I told you you couldn’t have it (the bar) and now you’ve got me towing it out there’.”
And while last Saturday night was his last as fire chief, handing over to Bryce McGhie, Trevor said he would be more than happy to help out at any time.
“I don’t know how I can follow in his footsteps,” Bryce said.
Mark Jackson of Dannevirke St John said Trevor was a “truly amazing guy”.
“He runs exercises in town and advises on training environments for all our staff,” he said. “He makes this community what it is and his will be big boots to fill.”
Mark said he hoped FENZ could get the medical input into callouts at Herbertville sorted.
“This is a very important hub and you are doing it for your community,” he said.
Trevor said he understood meetings had already been held to sort issues about the lack of medical call up with the brigade.
‘Looking after people has been at the heart of everything Trevor does. He goes above and beyond the call of duty and his has been an outstanding 25 ’ years of service. TRACEY COLLIS Tararua District mayor
Gary Lockyer, left, general manager rural for FENZ, presents retiring Herbertville fire chief Trevor Beale with his 25-year gold star at a function in Herbertville.
Trevor , left, receives a certificate of appreciation and plaque recognising his work with the rural fire authority from former Tararua District Council principal rural fire officer Paddy Driver.
Tararua District mayor Tracey Collis, gold-star recipient Trevor Beale and his wife Pauline at the Herbertville Fire Station.