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.

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