A new van will allow Waihi Beach firefighters to rush to emergencies even when a full crew of volunteers cannot be found.

The $30,000 van was yesterday being fitted out with radios and communication equipment so firefighters can begin to use it.

Waihi Beach fire chief Ian Smith said the van, which would replace the brigade's old one, would allow firefighters to better serve their community.

The biggest problem the brigade faced was rounding up a full crew of volunteers at short notice, often in the middle of the work day, but the van would allow a smaller number of firefighters to attend medical emergencies.


It would also mean additional firefighters could be taken to help the original crew in major emergencies.

The van will eventually be kitted out with first aid kits, a defibrillator, basket scoop stretcher and mobile lighting rig. Money for the van came from the sale of the old van and grants from the Lion Foundation, Valder Ohinemuri Charitable Trust and the Waihi Beach community. Waihi Auto Services and Waihi Tyrepower also helped.

Amy McGillivray