Terry Houghton, who was a volunteer firefighter for 54 years, and Chief Fire Officer of the Kaitaia Brigade for 30 of those years, has long held the record for the number of musters accumulated by a brigade member. Not any more.

Brian Shepherd, who now serves in an operational support role, has passed the 7167 musters recorded by Mr Houghton, who died in 2012 at the age of 80, equating to an annual average of 132. As of December 2 he had turned out 7248 times, an annual average of 185, and counting.

Mr Shepherd received a two-year gold bar for 39 years' service at this year's brigade honours function.

Three other current brigade members, all with more than 5000 musters to their credit, fill third to fifth spots on the all-time list. As of December 2, Senior Station Officer (and former CFO) Colin Kitchen had 5784, current CFO Craig Rogers had 5509, and David Marquet had 5478.


The late Snow Bray and former member Dave McKenzie also passed the 5000 mark, with 5426 and 5262 respectively, while 60 past and present volunteers in Kaitaia reached or have reached 1000.