New station a boost for fire brigade

By Kristin Edge

Chief fire officer Snow Buckton in the locker room of the new $1 million Hikurangi fire station. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Chief fire officer Snow Buckton in the locker room of the new $1 million Hikurangi fire station. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Coat hangers used for hanging firefighting kit have been replaced with sleek personally named lockers at Hikurangi fire station.

The locker room is part of the new $1 million station, the newest in the country, which will be officially opened tomorrow with some of the Fire Service's top brass in attendance.

For Hikurangi chief fire officer Snow Buckton, the lockers mean dry gear.

"My gear was in the corner near a leak in the roof. Some times my boots were pretty damn wet," he said.

And while the volunteers did their best with the coat hangers, regular locker inspections will now become a part of the regime.

"They'll have to keep their boots polished and everything looking uniform and hung up the right way," reckoned Mr Buckton.

The build has taken 12 months to complete, so the brigade operated out of the Guyco building in the old dairy factory.

The latest earthquake-proof technology has been used in the station along with the latest computer technology.

Extra fundraising by the brigade has meant they have been able to upgrade some of the appliances in the kitchen.

Mr Buckton, who has been a member of the brigade for 35 years, said the new station was a morale boost for the team of firefighters and support staff associated with the brigade.

"It's given the team a lift. They are all passionate and the team is working second to none and are so enthusiastic."

Over the years, Mr Buckton said, the number of call-outs the brigade attended had increased dramatically. When he first started there were about 11 a year; now they would have that many call-outs in a week.

Not only are the brigade's two fire appliances housed in the new station but there is conference room that will be used for training. The station will be officially opened tomorrow; the ceremony starts at 11am.

- Northern Advocate

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