Bashed fireman improves

By Tessa Johnstone

Martinborough firefighter Pete Fisher's family are staying positive as they watch their son's condition improve.

Mr Fisher was assaulted at a Broadway St house on Saturday after going to help a group of teenagers eject an unwanted male visitor.

His father Brian Fisher said while he was disappointed by the actions of the man who assaulted his son, the family was not dwelling on it.

"We're not trying to take up the hate, we're not taking the negative side of things. I'm cheesed off that a good samaritan ended up in intensive care, it's a life-and-death situation, but I'm not going to take up the negative side."

Mr Fisher said his son's action was that of a typical volunteer firefighter: "All they care about is the community."

Although still in Wellington Hospital's intensive care unit, Mr Fisher said he was no longer being sedated and is responding better than expected to treatment. "He's conscious, he can't talk or anything but he's responding - he'll squeeze your hand if you ask him to."

Peter Fisher's partner Freida Kokiri, their 15-year-old daughter Sian, together with his siblings Paul and Dee and parents Brian and Noeline have been with him since Sunday.

Mr Fisher said the family were tired and emotional but had some great support. "We've just had so much support from the people of Martinborough, and Porirua and the Fire Service."

Martinborough fire chief Garry Jackson said he'd received 28 messages from people asking after Peter Fisher.

The brigade was having a debrief on Friday night's Oxford St fire last night and would be discussing how they could support his family, he said.

The Fire Service had a fund available to support volunteer firefighters when they hit hard times, and a welfare society. "It's part of the family when you're part of the Fire Service, they all rally round and ring."

Station officer Mike Lace is helping to organise fundraising efforts.

"We're just organising to get the brigade behind the Martinborough Business Association, to let everyone know what Pete did in the community, and making sure people recognise the face behind the name."

Mr Lace said costs will already be mounting for the family - travel, accommodation, and the loss of work - and they don't want them to have to worry about it while Mr Fisher is recovering.

Donation boxes have already been set up at a number of Martinborough businesses.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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