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Closing in on new wheels

The Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade is closing in on the fundraising target that will enable them to purchase a new ‘operational support vehicle’, as pictured. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

WALT DICKSON

Members of the Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade are closing in on the $52,000 fundraising target to buy a new operational support vehicle.

Although not recognised by the national organisation, Fire & Emergency New Zealand, operational support vehicles are a “key piece of kit” for provincial brigades, according to Keith Pedley, Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade secretary and firefighter.

“Because our brigade has a pump rescue tender we cover the whole bottom end of southern Wairarapa including Featherston, Martinborough and out towards Ngawi and Tora.

“If there is a motor vehicle accident, for example, we get turned out, so we can often cover some huge distances,” Pedley said.

The Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade responds to around 150 call-outs a year, with the operational support vehicle attending several of these calls.

Typically, an operational support vehicle carries traffic management equipment, first aid kit and other resources. Equally important is that it provides capacity to transport extra manpower to a call-out than what is possible in the trucks alone.

The new van will replace the existing secondhand vehicle, which is now due for replacement.

The brigade has been working on the project for about nine months and hopes to have the new vehicle join their fleet early in the New Year.

Confirmation of a $10,000 grant from the Trust House Foundation is a huge boost as they close in on their target, Pedley says.

“We are very grateful for Trust House’s support. We are still waiting on a couple of other grant applications, so are on track to get there.”

The brigades’ fundraising initiatives including firewood, donations and assisting people in the community who request help with odd jobs, have netted an impressive $22,000.

Pedley says it was always their aim to match every $2 raised from grants with $1 of their own fundraising.

It is hoping to purchase the new vehicle in the New Year.

“The more money that we can raise ourselves, the more we are able to fit out the van with equipment instead of just having the bare essentials.”

The Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade has 28 volunteers. Pedley says volunteer fire brigades are an integral part of communities.

“I think people in the volunteer fire service are quite unique because unlike most other volunteers they are on-call 24 hours a day, every day of the year, so it is a huge commitment.”

Of the 14,000 staff in Fire & Emergency New Zealand, 83 per cent are volunteers.

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