What firefighting procedures and systems are needed to preserve a power station 200 metres below the surface of a lake in an emergency event?
That was just one challenge faced by 45 firefighters and fire-related industry staff who toured the Manapouri Hydro Power Station and environs on the New Zealand Fire Brigades’ Institute Field Day on Saturday 15 August.
Manapouri, the largest hydro station in New Zealand, is located on the edge of Lake Manapouri’s West Arm in Fiordland National Park. The station is underground, with the generating units housed in a cavern excavated from rock.
The group enjoyed a bus ride from Te Anau to Pearl Harbour at Manapouri followed by a scenic boat trip across the lake to West Arm. They were taken into the power station by bus and then over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, the outlet of the stations tailrace tunnels.
On the way they learned about safety around electricity, fire control systems, hazard management and evacuation procedures.
Field day co-ordinator Scott Lanauze from Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade says very good feedback was received about the visit, both from the participants and from Manapouri Power Station Site Manager John Twidle who was host for the day.
“I have every confidence everyone enjoyed the tour, and we all learnt something to add to our firefighting knowledge base,” Scott says.
“All of the available seats were booked well in advance of the event and we had a waiting list. We discussed another Field Day at Manapouri Hydro with John for those who could not join us on this occasion, and he is more than happy to accommodate us should there be sufficient interest”.
Scott says the support of Meridian Energy in allowing the tour of the facility and Real Journeys in sponsoring the transport and supplying catering requirements contributed to the success of the day.
Attendees received certificates of attendance which incorporated CPD hours from IFE.
See more Field Day photos
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