A shortage in volunteer firefighters has meant local brigades have been struggling to respond to emergencies and a plea has gone out from Fire and Emergency New Zealand for more volunteers.

In a press release issued by Area Manager for Muri Whenua, Wipari Henwood said the service was experiencing significant volunteer shortages particularly in the Far North and this is being considered a serious matter.

“Low volunteer numbers mean local brigades are struggling to respond to emergencies. A slower response time means your home, business, and even your life, are at a greater risk in an emergency,” Henwood said.

There are currently 30 fire stations around Northland requiring at least 25 volunteers to fill the vacant slots and Henwood said they are struggling to fully crew fire trucks with the bare minimum.

“We need at least four people on a truck to respond to a call out – a driver, an officer and two firefighters.   If our volunteer numbers get any smaller, we risk losing our local brigades,” he said.

The service is requiring a range of people with a range of skill sets that not only entail fire fighting but also administration, presentation of fire safety programmes and the day-to-day running of the stations.

Volunteers need to be prepared to be on call and commit to one night/hour of training per week in the area the team allocate best suited for the candidate. Full security and medical checks will be a compulsory part of the recruitment process and the minimum age for application is 16 years old.

To discuss volunteering your time call business support on (09) 407 6817 or  apply at the Volunteering Northland website:

https://volunteeringnorthland.nz/volunteers/opportunities/1679

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