After eight years of planning, fundraising and construction, a dedicated $1.2 million fire station in Puhoi was officially opened on July 1.
Eight brigades were present for the event – Puhoi, Kaukapakapa, Bethells Valley, Waitakere, Silverdale, East Coast Bays, Warkworth and Ahuroa.
“It’s a pretty emotional time, but very satisfying to have the job done,” Puhoi fire chief Russell Green said.
Since forming 10 years ago, the brigade has operated out of a makeshift station next to Russell’s garage in Puhoi.
“It’s definitely a morale booster for the team to have a new facility and a better space for us to train and store our gear,” Russel said.
He said funding the project had been a challenge.
“Getting the resource consent wasn’t an easy process and ours cost $85,000, which is a lot of sausage sizzles.”
The opening coincided with the Fire and Emergency New Zealand amalgamation, which Puhoi is part of after being a rural brigade since 2007.
This meant six new FENZ vehicles were commissioned at the opening, including a new smoke chaser ute for Puhoi.
The brigade has one appliance and one smoke chaser and attends between 80 and 100 call outs a year. It has already responded to around 40 calls this year, making it one of the busier stations in a rural area.