Left to right - Clark McCarthy, Simon Smith, Matthew Gatenby, Thomas Firth, Phil Muldoon, Amber Muldoon, Brendon Kidd, Quinn McCarthy.
New recruit, 17 year-old Amber Muldoon from John Paul College said she has learnt a lot from the training course. "My dad is the fire chief so it kind of runs in the family but I wanted to be able to get involved and give back to the community. "It's a great way to develop new skills and meet new people," she said. "The trainings have been really fun. We have learnt a lot, from basic firefighting to medical assist and first aid."
New rural fire recruit Amber Muldoon in action during a training exercise. Photo/Supplied
Meanwhile fire restrictions apply to the Rotorua district between October and April so rural residents planning a burn-off or other type of fire need to apply for fire permit. This year Rotorua Lakes Council is working with Pumicelands to process fire permits and support on-the-ground operations. Pumicelands was established in 2015 from 10 separate rural fire districts in the central North Island to support ground operations, process permit applications and be the main point of contact for the area.
"Everyone is responsible when it comes to fire safety, particularly during our hot, dry summers. Making sure you have a fire permit is the first step," said council rural fire officer Richard Horn. "By working with our region, our mission is to protect lives, rural homes, orchards, farms, forests and conservation lands from the damaging effects of vegetation wildfires."
Fire permits are required in the rural area for:
-Open air fires (including controlled burns)
-Some coal barbecues
You can apply for fire permits online at www.pumicelands.co.nz. People with limited internet or computer access can apply for permits through local councils or by contacting a zone representative. If you need help or want to talk to someone in your area, contact your local zone representative by visiting the About Us section at www.pumicelands.co.nz.