Kaikoura earthquake response: Members supporting members

  Posted on 15th December 2016 by Loralee Hyde in UFBA News

Kaikoura earthquake response: Members supporting members
Following the severe 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake on 14 November, our members in the quake battered regions of North Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington (which was also hit by a major storm the next day) responded immediately to meet the needs of their communities.

Members from other areas were deployed to assist their colleagues while USAR personnel from across the country completed Rapid Disaster Assessments.

The UFBA is very proud of our members who worked so hard to give support where required to help their fellow New Zealanders in need. Thank you all so much for your dedication and service.

Thank you from Kaikoura

Ian Walker, CFO Kaikoura Volunteer Fire Brigade, says he and the brigade are overwhelmed with the support from the Fire Service.

“We’ve had career crews here on rosters and numerous offers of help from neighbouring volunteer brigades,” he says.

“The expertise of USAR personnel was absolutely marvellous—they created safety in the town.”

Ian adds that David Guard (NZFS Region 5 Fire Region Manager) and Dave Berry (NZFS Area Commander Canterbury) provided amazing support.

“I can’t say enough about what all the management has done,” Ian says. “The NZFS is an organisation that’s going forward.”

NZFS Kaikoura 2016

Photo: Representatives of our fire and emergency services responding to the needs of Kaikoura—Chief Executive & National Commander Paul Baxter, Rescue Helicopter Pilot Regan Graham (Garden City Helicopters), SFF Wayne Hamilton (St Albans Station and helicopter crewman), CFO Ian Walker (Kaikoura), Reg 5 FRM Dave Guard, DCFO Craig Guthrie (Kaikoura), Reg 4 FRM Steve Turek and National USAR Manager (Acting) Jeff Maunder. Photo credit: NZFS

UFBA Benevolent Fund helps out quickly

Following the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, the UFBA Benevolent Fund provided financial assistance to UFBA members and their families in genuine hardship.

Again, our Benevolent Fund quickly took action following the Kaikoura earthquake on 14 November. NZFS Welfare Officer Jim Ryburn from Christchurch contacted affected brigades and fire forces in North Canterbury and Marlborough to determine the financial assistance that might be needed by firefighters and their families—volunteer, career, urban or rural.

Applications for assistance from brigade members that need our help are being immediately considered on a case-by-case basis by Benevolent Fund Chairman Alan Cockburn, Trustee Alan Burgess and UFBA Chief Executive George Verry. Grants are being paid promptly to families in need.

If your brigade or fire force has personnel in need of assistance following the Kaikoura quake, please email Jim Ryburn or phone 021 654 184.

Click here to find out how the UFBA Benevolent Fund helps firefighters through tough times

Giving hard working colleagues a break

From Nigel Lilley, CFO Rolleston Volunteer Fire Brigade

Volunteers from Rolleston were requested to relieve the worn out Kaikoura guys and gals, who had been working tirelessly for days following the quake.

They were in dire need of some much needed rest and time with their families and my team provided them with that opportunity.

The team had a three-day deployment and they were followed up by a further three-day deployment by an Ashburton crew. Their efforts were focused on the Kaikoura area, as the only way in and out was by helicopter.

There was plenty to do—stabilise parts of buildings, clear paths, assist USAR and general township welfare—all the time maintaining fire and rescue cover.

Waiau was another heavily affected township and the brigade there also needed rest. They were assisted by day deployments from Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Lincoln, Woodend and Lyttelton.

Rolleston Kaikoura 2016Photo: Rolleston volunteers head off to Kaikoura, left to right, SSO Steve Trigg (who delivered the volunteers to the chopper base), SFF Ben Bishop, SFF Brendan Allcorn, SFF Sarah Lilley, SSO Graham Petersen and SFF Rob Henderson Photo credit: Nigel Lilley

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