DCFO Russell Hayes was invited to speak at conference on how Brooklands, one of the worst affected brigades, held it together to do a huge service for their local community after the Canterbury earthquake struck.
He told delegates of the difficult circumstances the brigade faced in the wake of the quake, and emphasised the importance of getting the members together as much as possible to support one another. Brigade members and their families had dinner together every night for the first week, he said.
Morale building is extremely important in times of crisis, and by setting up a good support system for the brigade’s firefighters and their families, the Brooklands brigade was able to continue to provide outstanding service for its community.
Firefighters were predominantly focussed on reassuring the residents and keeping the town secure. They were consistently out in the community using the speaker systems in their vehicles to keep residents informed. They also liaised with local police to set up a check point into town to minimise the risk of looting.
Leadership is not just about who’s in charge on the fire ground. The Brooklands Volunteer Fire Brigade demonstrated true leadership after the Canterbury earthquake struck. In Paul McGill’s presentation to the delegates, he made mention of the exemplary job the brigade did in continuing to function well after the event.
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