The Wellington Provincial Fire Brigades’ Association was formed on the 30th of August 1911, with the Dannevirke Volunteer Fire Brigade being the main instigator of setting up the group.
The main purpose of this early Association was to bring together brigades in the area to hold ‘demonstrations’ or competitions. The Association was initially called the ‘United District Fire Brigade’s Association’ and had members from a tight catchment mainly in Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wanganui and Palmerston North. Within a few years, member brigades joined from further south, - Otaki, Petone and Lower Hutt Brigades to name a few. Fire police units joined the Association as well and there have also been a number of industrial brigades that have been part of the association, including Napier Railway, Feilding Freezing Works, and General Motors, Trentham and Dunlop Tyres in Upper Hutt.
Dunlop Tyres Fire Brigade 1980s
Competitions have always been a strong part of the provincial and sub-association calendar, the first being held in Dannevirke in 1912. Teams from the provincial Association have also features strongly in the national United Fire Brigades’ Association competitions, with Petone, Hastings, Carterton and Spit (from Napier) Brigades. One of the most successful national championship teams was that fielded by the Carterton Volunteer Fire Brigade who have taken out national titles on numerous occasions over the years, as well as winning Australasian events. In later years new challenges and competitions have seen other brigades in the Provincial take out national honours, such as the Greytown VFB who won the National Road Crash Rescue Challenge in 2014.
Palmerston North Fire Police, 1906
The name of the Association was formally changed at the 1958-59 annual conference at the request of the UFBA who was attempting to get a uniform naming convention around the country – thus from that date the United District Fire Brigade’s Association as known as the Wellington Provincial Fire Brigades’ Association.
The main source for this information is:
Cathcart, B. 1987. Getting to Work – the first seventy five years of the Wellington Provincial Fire Brigades’ Association. Wellington Provincial Fire Brigades’ Association.