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CLIENT NEWS: KCE funding helps get the right tools for Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade

KCE funding helps get the right tools for Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade

Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade works hard to ensure the safety of the King Country community, attending around 120 emergency incidents a year.

Based in Taumarunui, the brigade attends incidents as far away as Ohura to the west, halfway to Te Kuiti to the north and Te Ponanga Saddle, on the road to Turangi, to the south-east. The region has lots of winding roads and rolling hills, and about a quarter of their call outs are for vehicle accidents on the road.

It's therefore essential that the brigade have the right equipment for the job.

This month KCE's Heartland Community Fund has given $2000 to enable the Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade to modify a vital piece of equipment which is used in vehicle rescues in difficult locations.

"Our portable hydraulic hand pump is unusable, as it needs to be converted from a double to single-core working hose," said Barry Fisher, Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer.

The hand pump provides power to hydraulic rescue tools including cutters, spreaders and rams, and is often used for vehicle rescues in locations where access is difficult. In situations where a car has gone down a bank or off-road, it currently takes a couple of fire fighters to carry a generator, but a hand pump is lighter and more portable - something just one person can carry.

"The New Zealand Fire Service converted our other equipment (the jaws of life, a spreader, ram and cutter) from two-cable to single cable, but they do not provide the funds to convert our hand pump from double-core working to single core working," said Mr Fisher, who has been involved with the brigade for 53 years, including 40 as chief fire officer.

KCE has agreed to fund $2000 towards the cost of converting the hand pump and supplying a new core hose.

"Getting our pump converted so we can use it is going to make things a lot more manageable and safer for fire fighters," said Mr Fisher. "We are very thankful to KCE for helping us modify this piece of gear."

KCE community relations manager Helen Peacock said KCE was proud to support the Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade. "This group of volunteers does exceptional and often challenging work, providing emergency rescue services to the King Country region," said Mrs Peacock. "Heartland exists to offer community groups a hand-up rather than a hand-out, and we are pleased that we can assist them to get the tools they need to save lives."

The Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade was founded in 1910 and currently has 19 members plus four new recruits. The brigade is one of dozens of community groups who have been supported by KCE's Heartland Community Fund since its inception in March 2014. In that time KCE has distributed $45,835 to King Country community groups.

This month a total of $7487 will be distributed to four community groups who successfully applied for funding in the March 2016 round, including Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Brigade. The other successful recipients included Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Service, Ohakune Growers Association and Project Litefoot Trust, who each received grants ranging from $1572 to $2000.

KCE's Heartland Community Fund has three funding periods each year which close on March 31, July 31 and November 30.

Applications for the next round of Heartland funding open on July 1 and close on July 31. For more information and an official application form please visit www.kce.co.nz or the KCE Heartland Community Fund Facebook page, or phone 0800 523 637.

Photo caption: Members of the Taumarunui Fire Brigade with the portable hydraulic hand pump soon to be upgraded with KCE funding.

Congratulations to our March 2016 Heartland funding recipients:

  • Taumarunui Volunteer Fire Service: Funding to upgrade hydraulic hand pump (for use in vehicle rescues)
  • Otorohanga Riding for the Disabled: Funding towards safer riding equipment including a new adjustable saddle and safety stirrups
  • Project Litefoot Trust: Funding towards energy efficient resources for community sports clubs
  • Ohakune Growers Association: Funding towards an Ohakune boardwalk by the famous Big Carrot