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People not heeding fire ban endangering firefighters

People not heeding fire ban endangering firefighters

Posted March 31, 2020
Emergency Services

Gold FM Fire Call Out: With eleven callouts over the last week there hasn’t been too much down time for the Waihi Fire and Rescue.

Brian Gentil asked Moe Stevens what they thought about those people who light fires during the fire ban, and in particular during this Covd-19 lockdown. Moe didn’t hold back in explaining they are all volunteers and each call puts them at risk by mixing in the public rather than staying out of trouble in their bubbles.

Last Tuesday, March 24, at 10 am they went to Hella Lights in lower Seddon St after the alarm went off. There were no problems so they returned to base.

On Thursday 26 March they had two jobs one after the other. Firstly, at 4 pm, they attended a rubbish fire in Grey St. As Moe said, this put the volunteers at risk for no reason and needn’t have happened.

They’d just parked the engine and the alarm went off again at 4.30 pm, for yet another fire, so they headed out to Roberts St to put this out, and educate the person who’d lit it that there is still a total fire ban on, even if we’ve had a few showers.

On Saturday the St Joseph’s School fire alarm went off at 2 pm. The Waihi Fire & Rescue Service didn’t need to travel far, just around the block, where they found no sign of a fire. The alarm going off remained unexplained and was left for the school to follow up with.

Two more callouts occurred on Sunday 29 March.
At 3 pm Moe said they headed to Princes St, where … another rubbish fire had been called in. This was extinguished again with the explanation the fire ban was still in place.

Just on dark at about 8 pm the siren went off again. The truck headed to Union St where a large bonfire had to be put out. Another fire, another explanation!

And Monday 30 March was very busy. Starting at 8.30 am a truck brought down some power lines in Smith St as it delivered some medical supplies nearby. The driver was OK but power was disconnected for several hours for quite a few households.

At 11 am Waihi Fire & Rescue headed out again to two large fires on Savage Rd. These were put out and they returned to the station.

Then at 7.30 pm they attended a motor vehicle crash where a large truck and trailer unit went off the road heading into the Karangahake Gorge from Waihi near ‘Queen’s Head’. The firefighters secured the site and returned home.

But wait, there’s more … At 9.15 pm they were off again after getting a call from Katikati to take their tanker to Plumbers Point Rd where bark at a garden centre had caught alight. They got as far as the Athenree Gorge before being turned back. But the bark wasn’t completely out and they were called out again at 10.30 pm to take the tanker back down again where they helped put the fire out, returning home at around 2 am this morning.

A big thanks to the volunteer firefighters for all their hard work. And now for a quiet week!!

To hear the full Gold FM Fire Call Out … click play on our podcast link.