Matakana Chief Fire Officer Peter Guild presenting the Whittaker Trophy to Rochelle Paice at the brigade’s recent honours night.
Covid-19 was the main challenge for Matakana Volunteer Fire Brigade this year, Chief Fire Officer Peter Guild said at the annual honours night in Point Wells last month.
Both training and callouts were made much more difficult during lockdown, especially medical events, because of the protective gear members had to wear over their uniforms. Plus, all members aged over 70 were stood down.
Of the 129 calls received by the Matakana brigade over the past year, 91 were medical, with eight road accidents, eight vegetation fires, seven special services calls, one structure fire, four other fires, a heat/pressure callout, three public assist calls and six false alarms.
Members Noeline Cranston and Jim Presland retired from the brigade after 14 years’ service, and only two recruits and two operational support crew were needed for a full house of crew, Mr Guild said.
Awards were presented to Peter Guild, officer of the year; Brian Molloy, best attendance; Jennie Burt, most callouts; Robyn Peach, Bailey Earley recruit firefighter of the year; Isabelle Franks, most improved; Ben Pringle, senior firefighter of the year; Rochelle Paice, Whittaker Trophy.
The Matakana brigade is trying to raise $10,000 to pay for the installation a second 25,000-litre water tank at the fire station. The new tank will reduce travel time to get extra water for larger fires – a recent local house fire used up 25,000-litres from Matakana plus an extra two tanker loads totalling 18,000-litres that had to be transported from Snells Beach. Donations can be made direct to the brigade’s account at ASB 12 3095 0202011 00, reference ‘tank’.