Most families fight, but not many families fight fires together.

The Vailes are different; brothers Trevor, 66, and Alan 63, then Alan's two children, Leanne, 35 and Craig, 30 and finally, Alan's grandson Jordan, 17, are all volunteer firefighters for the Waipu Fire Brigade.

Trevor Vaile was the first one in the family to sign up. He joined back in February 1978 and said peer pressure was partly to blame.

"I'd been away and came back to the community and people were constantly at me to join up, so in the end I did, I guess you'd call it peer pressure," Trevor said.


While peer pressure might have been the reason Trevor signed up, he found many reasons to stay.

"There are some really great, funny times with the crew and then there are some really tough times as well, but it's the camaraderie and the social element that keeps us all together," he said.

Trevor said Waipu Fire Station now got more than 100 calls a year and he attended around 80 per cent of those, at least.

Leanne said joining the fire service seemed like the natural thing to do.

"We grew up with it so it was like a second family for us, it was just a way of life really, you'd have birthdays and dinners and the pager would go and we'd all get excited and ask "what is it?", then dad would run out the door," she said.

So when Leanne moved down to the Mount recently, she joined the Mount Maunganui Fire Brigade.

"I saw it as a way of me getting into a hobby and also meeting people that could potentially become my local family," she said.

The family have been out on plenty of calls together, Leanne said.


"Most recently, when I was home over summer I went to a few calls with dad and my nephew and recently they went to a house fire where my brother drove, my dad was officer and my nephew was in the back," she said.

"It's great when you've got that extra level of trust because they are your family, even though you've got this amazing trust with the other members of the crew as well."

Trevor and Leanne said they had no plans to give it up anytime soon and Jordan has just joined the air force as a firefighter.