Brigade marks 30th jubilee – again


A milestone worthy of two celebrations.

The Papatowai Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade celebrated 30 years of service to their community earlier this month with a community open day.

But it was not its first 30 year celebration. That happened back in August 2019 when crew members past and present came together to reminisce.

“We had the dinner but then we wanted something everyone could take part in,” health and safety officer Dianne Miller said.

“A lot of the people who are part of the Papatowai community are crib owners and are here over the summer.”

On June 4, a group of about 20 people took the opportunity to tour the building, view the displays and operate some of the equipment.

“The event was an excellent opportunity to engage with the community and to field any inquiries for potential new recruits,” she said.

“Although we do have a healthy membership .. some of our members are getting older and we always have to consider the future.”

Being a rural fire station, the crew had to contend with a variety of challenges.

“There are a lot of vegetation fires, but we also do medical assists, body recovery and helping injured people off beaches and tracks.”

The Papatowai station is owned by the Clutha District Council.

Mrs Miller said the council had indicated that future upgrades to the facility could soon be coming.

“We need the building to be upgraded to meet Fire and Emergency standards .. if everyone else’s house has fallen down, our building needs to stay standing.”