Upgrade delights rescuers

New fire engine will be a 'great improvement'

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2012
Andrew Welsh
BARRY HARCOURT/Fairfax NZ

CALL ME MELLOW YELLOW: Andrew Welsh, controller of the Milford Sound emergency response team and a trustee of the Milford Community Trust, after being presented with a new fire engine from Southern Rural Fire Authority chief executive Mike Grant at Milford Sound yesterday.

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The Milford Sound Emergency Response Team has received its first vehicle upgrade – a new, purpose-built, four-wheel-drive rural fire engine.

Mike Schuck, chairman of Milford Sound Community Trust, said the fire engine could hold 1800 litres of water, carry four men and various types of equipment and spray foam or water.

The existing vehicle, a Toyota Hilux ute, which was fitted with an emergency response trailer, would still be used by the team, he said.

"Having two vehicles to carry eight people and a decent pumper tank will be a great improvement."

Andrew Welsh, controller of the emergency response team, said it responded to a variety of callouts, sometimes one a day in the summer months, including oil spills, missing persons, and vehicle accidents.

Of the last 35 callouts, only one was a fire, Mr Welsh said. The emergency response team covered a large area from The Divide, about 40 kilometres away on the Milford Sound-Te Anau highway, to the end of the Hollyford Rd and 50m either side of the highway.

The new fire engine was brilliant and would enable the team to travel easier in the winter, he said.

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- The Southland Times

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