Two fire stations open in Mid-South Cantebury

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Fire and Emergency National Commander Russell Wood officially opened two new fire stations in Mid-South Canterbury on Saturday.

Rangitātā Gorge Volunteer Fire Brigade, which was established in the 1980s, never previously never had a facility and had to store the appliance where there was space, taking turns hosting training at each other’s homes and storing equipment in a 20ft container.

The new 146-sq m fire station is a $1.25 million new build comprising an appliance vehicle bay, operations room/training room, decontamination and ablution facilities. It also has a water storage tank, PPE storage, exhaust fume management and off-road parking.

Peel Forest Volunteer Fire Brigade was the first rural fire unit in the South Island when it was established in 1954. The updated 200-sq m station is a $1.26 million new build to replace their old, concrete block facility. It comprises of an appliance vehicle bay, support vehicle bay, operations room/training room/ kitchenette, decontamination and ablution facilities, PPE storage, exhaust fume management, water storage tanks and off-road car parking.

The brigades were originally set up to protect the property and environment both within the Peel Forest village and in the upper reaches of the Rangitātā Gorge. Both stations will serve as bases for search and rescue in what is a high-use area for the general public with a range of recreation activities such as rafting, hiking, hunting and jet boating.

Russell Wood commented: “Both of these brigades hold an important role for the small, rural communities they serve, and these new stations will ensure these two brigades will be able to continue to serve the needs of these communities.

“They also form part of the wider region surge capacity for a larger-scale incidents.

“For Rangitātā Gorge in particular, I’m pleased the brigade will be able to park the appliance in a purpose-built facility that fits all their equipment and that they have space to come together to train, connect and serve their community.”

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