Diverse calls

Battling a scrub fire that is threatening a house

We cover an incredibly diverse area that includes small towns, a thriving science and education sector and a large rural farming sector.

Therefore the calls we attend can be diverse in nature. There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ call but we often deal with;

  • Structure fires such as houses, haybarns and sheds
  • Alarm activations at commercial properties, local schools, University, maternity hospital
  • Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs),
  • Vegetation fires,
  • Natural disasters, notably the devastating Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011
  • Hazchem (Hazardous Chemical) calls
  • Medical – heart attacks, strokes, machinery and farm accidents
  • Animal rescues – horses stuck in ditches, cats up trees, dogs under sheds

We often get asked exactly what happens when the fire siren sounds across the village? Here’s a brief overview.


MVA, Akaroa – Tai Tapu highway

The first firefighter arriving at the station ‘takes the call’. This means they deactivate the fire siren and liaise with FIRECOMM via radio to let them know we are ready to respond. By this stage other firefighters are arriving on station and getting into their gear so the call taker communicates with the crews and officer to ensure they know which appliances are required, the correct address and other relevent details.

When the appliances leave the station the call taker then prepares the paperwork – ticking off the names of firefighters attending the call, those who are waiting at the station and then filling in a log book with all the call details.

Depending on the type of job we could send up to 3 appliances.

The entire duration from the time the alarm is activated until our appliances roll out the door is usually 3-4 minutes.

Firefighters who aren’t ‘riding the truck’ wait on station until they hear via radio that they’re not required before they can go home, back to work or back to their family.