Rarangi crew revels in new gear

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 13:15 09/01/2014
Andy Luffman
Derek Flynn

Ready for action: Rarangi Rural Fire Force secretary and treasurer Andy Luffman, left, and fire force controller Steve Banks, wearing the contrasting kit required to fight both urban and rural fires

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There was a time when Rarangi firefighters would be called out to a job and not know if the truck would start.

But now, Rarangi Rural Fire Force is a first-class station with a first-class crew, says fire force controller Steve Banks.

The station underwent its biggest change in more than three decades last year, Mr Banks said.

First up, it was given a new rural tanker and fire appliance by the Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority.

They had made a huge difference to the Rarangi crew, Mr Banks said.

"Now we're not turning up and wondering if the truck will start."

The station was created when the Rarangi Residents' Association bought its first tank on a two-wheeled trailer in 1979.

It was later funded by the Department of Conservation and had two old fire trucks. They were sold on Trade Me last year.

Profits from the sale of the first truck helped pay for renovations to the Rarangi Beach Rd station.

The second truck was sold to the Wellington Fire Museum.

Rarangi crew attended both urban and rural fire calls and assisted Blenheim and Picton fire stations, Mr Banks added.

Last year, the station's firefighters were called to more than 38 incidents. They also act as a back up to ambulance staff.

Firefighters had responded to seven callouts already this year.

The crew was made up of 14 volunteers, but the station was always looking for more.

Station secretary and treasurer Andy Luffman said respect for rural firefighters went up after the Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority was created in July 2012, replacing four smaller rural fire authorities.

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- The Marlborough Express

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