Big score for Ngaruawahia
Serving a community with little economic activity and a sprawling rural backdrop has it’s unique challenges for the Ngaruawahia Volunteer Fire Brigade. The brigade covers an expansive area and with few businesses in the community, most residents travel to other towns for work, making the daytime often difficult to cover. Located 20 minutes from Hamilton between Huntly and Cambridge also means the brigade is often called upon to back up other brigades.
Regardless of the geographic challenges, the Ngaruawahia brigade still does the same job as every other brigade, and CFO Marty Kampman and some of his members have been proactively finding ways to do it better by fundraising and building up resources and capability.
The brigade has achieved big things as of late – including sourcing a tanker and building a new shed to house it along with the reserve van.
“Huntly and Cambridge are the closest brigades with tankers,” said Kampman. “And we thought it would be extremely valuable to have another tanker in the area given the nature of calls we respond to.”
Kampman said they had a contact at Fonterra and were aware that the tankers get upgraded once they’ve done a certain number of miles. Acting DCFO Darren Hennessy and SO Karl Lapwood took the lead in approaching Fonterra. Aware that large companies tend to exhaust their sponsorships early on in each business year, they asked their request for a tanker to be considered for the start of the 2012-13 year.
Asking the right question at the right time had a very positive outcome for the brigade. Fonterra responded by donating a 12,000-litre tanker and covering ninety percent of the book value. It was up to the brigade to fundraise for the remaining ten percent.
“I put it down to the generosity of Fonterra, the initiative of our brigade members, and good timing,” said Kampman. “It’s not every day that you would see a donation this big. We were extremely lucky that the timing was right, and I’m just so grateful to Fonterra and to Karl and Darren for making it happen.”
Thanks to local businesses, individuals, and charitable trusts, the brigade has raised the $3,400 needed to secure the tanker, and is well on its way to meeting its target for the new shed that will be its home. That new shed will also be home to the brigade reserve van and Operational Support office.
“WEL Energy has already donated $18,000 towards the new shed and we’re working to get support from other trusts as well,” said Kampman.
“Karl and Shane Death will review the tanker once we receive it next month and build it up to Fire Service operational standards, and I think once we get it up and running, it will make a huge impact on our level of service.”
It’s more than just the hardware that’s gotten a boost in the brigade. At an open day held last month, 300 people came through the station, and five key people who work and live in the town showed interest in joining up.
“Several of our members have gone above and beyond to improve things around here, and I thank each of them for their hard work,” said Kampman.
“We have our challenges,” said Kampman. “But there are a lot of really positive things happening for us at the moment that I put down to a team effort, and we feel really good about that.”
Photo from left: NZFS Area Commander Roy Breeze, Fonterra Operations Manager Roger Usmar, DCFO Darren Hennessy and SO Karl Lapwood were present for the recent tanker handover.You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in (top right) or register.