Northland's 42 fire stations opened their doors to potential volunteers on Thursday, and Ahipara well and truly answered the call.

Chief Fire Officer Dave Ross said four recruits were signed up, adding to three who stepped up in March. If they all made the grade that would take the volunteer roster to 27, seven more than the brigade's entitlement.

Six visitors were shown the ropes at the Kaitaia station (the first two getting more than their money's worth, the siren sounding in response to a road crash just as they walked in the door), and three at Mangonui.

Muriwhenua Area Commander Wipari Henwood, said like many volunteer organisations, Fire and Emergency NZ had seen a steady decline in volunteer numbers over the years, and Thursday evening was designed to boost community engagement and let people know volunteering wasn't limited to fighting fires.


Frontline firefighters needed a high standard of fitness, but brigades needed all sorts of people in roles such as secretaries, treasurers and educators, who visit schools and install smoke alarms.

They also needed operational support personnel to help with everything from first aid to traffic control and running out hoses.

"There are plenty of things anyone can do. If you're interested, we've got a job for you," Mr Henwood said.

Brigades were looking for men and women who were at least 16 years old — a number of Northland volunteers were still at secondary school — and were particularly keen to recruit people who would be available during working hours.