They come for us in times of need.

The Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade is marking a hundred years of responding to emergencies, saving lives and property.

On Saturday it held an open day, with neighbouring fire fighting services assisting to celebrate the centenary.

While much younger than New Zealand's oldest volunteer fire brigade - Auckland was the first established in 1854 - Havelock North has given no less in protection and assistance to its community.

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The brigade does much more than putting out fires and assisting with car accidents. If an emergency ambulance call requires resuscitation, the brigade is despatched at the same time as St John, sometimes getting there sooner.

Chief Fire Officer Rod Triplow said the brigade was grateful to employers and the 32-strong brigade's families.

"Without the employers in our community letting us turn out to fire calls, as we are a fully volunteer fire station, they wouldn't have a fire service in Havelock North," he said.

"We do disappear at irregular times, we'll be having family functions, family life does get disrupted, so it is very important that our families are on board with us.

"If our families struggle then turning out to fire calls gets harder and harder, so we certainly appreciate what they do to allow us to be part of the fire service."

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