Foxton's Volunteer Fire Brigade put on an Open Day last Saturday hoping to entice more locals to join the brigade.

The team, with help from the police and St John, put on a car crash rescue demonstration right outside the fire station, showing what it takes to free people from a car crashed into a telephone pole. The action went from assessing the injuries to taking care of the victims, cutting open the car, providing oxygen, protecting people and equipment from sharp edges from cutting off the roof and doors, to manoeuvring injured people from a car and onto a stretcher.

Palmerston North's command vehicle oversaw the operation. It is kitted out with the latest technology, including a camera on a pole.

The Foxton volunteer firefighters also put on a kitchen cooking fire demo to show what not to do when a pot on the stove with cooking oil catches fire. That includes pouring water on burning oil, which only fans the flames.


Cover the pot with a lid or a chopping board, but go low and put your arm up. Do not stand over the pot.The fire service's advice is to then ring 111 and get out fast.

Deputy Fire Chief Michael Clement, who works for Turks, said when he started as a volunteer he was the youngest.

"Now I am the oldest."

Half the Foxton force consists of workers from Turks.

"Sometimes all the guys on the truck are from Turks," said Clement.

He said his boss has always been good about staff volunteering. That's a very important ingredient in being a successful volunteer firefighter.

"Ron Turk is really good about it. He doesn't make a fuss. If we have to go we have to go."

Davina Solomon, who appears on the brigade's recruitment posters, has been a firefighter for three years.


She said as a new resident in Foxton she wanted to meet a good bunch of people and picked the fire brigade, in part because she had in-laws who were firefighters and her husband had been a career fireman.

"My daughter as a teenager toyed with the idea to join the fire service but never did. I wondered if that was because there weren't enough women or Māori women in the service to be role models for her.

"What makes us strong as a team is the fact that we can rely on each other's diverse experiences and strengths. I do not have to be the strongest person, though when I started I wondered if I could be as fit and strong, both physically and mentally, as the guys, but that is not necessary."

She said there were great support networks both for training and for dealing with the things they got to see on the job.

"There are also great women's support group in the service."

She said there are great training programmes in the fire service and Foxton has great trainers.

A dozen people showed interest in joining the Foxton brigade. Anyone interested in joining can ring the Fire Chief, Shaun Sayer, on 027 290 5855, or the station and leave a message: 06 363 7171.