Revamped station set for merger


Like the New Zealand Fire Service as a whole, the Oamaru Fire Station is getting an upgrade of its own.
The Government recently announced the New Zealand Fire Service will merge with the National Rural Fire Authority and more than 40 rural fire authorities to create “Fire and Emergency New Zealand”.
As part of the merger, fire stations that need work will be upgraded.
Oamaru Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Steve Couper said the station was in the process of receiving a “major overhaul”.
“It’s just got a bit tired over the many years.”The exterior is being painted in denim-blue and titanium, the colours of the new organisation.
The inside of the station has already been painted, new carpet has been laid and the plumbing has been upgraded.
Some work was been done on fences. The external brickwork has been sealed but will not be painted.
Maintenance has been carried out in the training room.
The station will have a breathing apparatus compressor with increased capacity installed.
He said Oamaru was fortunate its station did not have to be rebuilt, as had been the case in other areas.
“A lot of refurbishment has been around earthquake-strengthening, but ours meets the standards, unlike Omarama, which pretty much had to be rebuilt.”When the work is complete in a month or two, Mr Couper said the brigade would look at opening the station’s doors to the public.
“Once it’s all finished, we are hoping to have an open day, so people can come in and have a look and see who we are and what we do.
“There’s a feeling around the place it’s a permanent fire service and not a volunteer fire service. “We are volunteers and we have to come from places of work. It’s important, if there is a fire call, we are on to it quickly, because it does take a bit longer for us to get volunteers there.”He said the brigade received another fire appliance about a fortnight ago.
Under the overhaul, $191 million will be spent on rural fire services and to provide more support for volunteers, such as equipment and training. Another $112 million will cover the costs of the organisation. However, Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be required to pay that back over 10 years.
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