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Eye-opener into firefighting

Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013
Fire volunteers
PETRICE TARRANT

CRASH TEAM: Dargaville Volunteer Fire Brigade members, L-R: Glenn Rawhiti, Steve Astbury, Jason Campbell and Penny Searle urge anyone interested in volunteering to check out what they do.

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A perfect opportunity has arisen if you've never seen firefighters in action.

Dargaville Fire Station is performing a mock car crash rescue in the Countdown/Warehouse car park on Waitangi Day to give anyone interested in volunteering a small taste of what it is like.

Volunteer numbers are dangerously low and the station is struggling to man each two-truck callout with enough hands on deck.

Firefighters attend between 200 and 270 callouts a year and 30 volunteers are needed to respond to these events.

The station has 15 dedicated men and women on board and up to 12 are required to drop what they are doing every time the siren signals a two-truck callout. This is an impractical ask considering most of them work fulltime.

Penny Searle, 23, is one of the younger members and says she "wouldn't give it up".

"It's very rewarding. There are two different ways to look at it - there are people in the community who are always thankful for what you do and then there are those that you actually help and I can't explain the gratitude that they show you."

Those who attend the crash rescue exercise starting at noon will also have the opportunity to look through the trucks and equipment the firefighters are qualified to use.

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- Dargaville News

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