Samantha and James Fawcett found the first rock to be hidden. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Greytown Fire Brigade is using rocks and an artistic touch to create school holiday fun and teach children about fire safety.

Over the past week members of the brigade have hidden four rocks with fire engines and the fire station painted on them by artist Ebonee Wilson at various locations around Greytown.

Each day the brigade has put up clues on its Facebook page giving hints to the location of the rocks.

Everyone who finds a rock will be invited to the Greytown Fire Station with their families over the weekend for a tour of the station and to have a play with some of the brigade’s gear.

Volunteer firefighter Brendon Allen, said the rock hunting had been something his children had “got into” while living in Manawatu.

“The brigade I was in up there ran a reasonably successful community promotion with the painted rocks.

“In Greytown, we’ve just got our brigade’s Facebook page off the ground, so we thought we’d run something to get a bit of engagement with it.”

After utilising the audience of the existing Wairarapa Rocks Facebook page, Allen said the fire service’s engagement had been amazing considering the service’s small initial following.

“It’s got to the point where I was out and around town the other day hiding rocks, but I had to be a little bit careful. A few people were making the comment that they were keeping an eye out for our rocks.

“I had to get creative with hiding them.”

The first four rocks, which have already been found. More rocks are to be hidden.

Four rocks have already been found, with the latest found early Tuesday morning by a three-year-old who dragged his parents out of bed to search for it.

Allen hopes to hide another three to four rocks over the next few days.

“Our third rock was found by one quite tenacious little girl and her mother who had a really good look around. They found it an hour and a half to two hours after I posted it on Facebook.

“I was talking to the mother and she said there were several other people who were looking for the rock at the same time. People are definitely getting into it.”

The engagement from the community had also allowed the brigade to share a few of its winter safety messages.

“We want people making sure they’ve kept their chimneys clean, keeping things a metre away from their heaters, and making sure they’re disposing ashes from their fire properly,” Allen said.

“Ashes should be in a metal bucket, well away from anywhere flammable. The ashes can hold their heat for up to three days.”