SHARE
Recognised...Wai kaka Volunteer Fire Bri gade members who received service awards last week are (from left) Shane Thomas, silver bar, 17 years service, Nicholas Vanderley, gold bar, 31 years service, Mervyn Clifford, gold bar, 31 years service, Paul Irwin, silver bar, 15 years service.(absent, Bill Butler, sil ver bar, 9 years service). PHOTO:SUPPLIED

Waikaka Volunteer Fire Brigade members were recognised for their dedication to serving the community with the presentation of service awards last week.

Chief fire officer Mervyn Clifford said the brigade hosted an informal evening to mark the occasion.

“It was good to see our life members there and their partners.

“We all just have a good catchup,” Mr Clifford said.

Awards were presented to members for service ranging from nine to 31 years.

Otago Southland Provincial Fire Brigade Association junior vice-president Jesse Wilcox, of Invercargill, made the presentations.

The brigade was facing a few challenges with falling numbers and a lack of trained personnel, Mr Clifford said.

“We’re lucky we’ve managed to pick up two new recruits, which is good, but our numbers are low and we really need members of the community to stand up.”

At present the brigade only had two officers but fortunately some of the firefighters were progressing in their training.

“The more training you do, you hold the higher ranks.

“We’ve struggled in the past . [regarding] people trying to climb the ranks. They get get to firefighter and they are quite happy with that.

“We need officers to come through the system to remain operational.”