A big red fire truck has rolled into town.
The Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade has received a new $250,000 Iveco fire engine which is a huge benefit for the Eastern Southland community.
It can pump 3,000 litres of water per minute, compared to the previous engine which pumped 2,000 litres per minute.
Chief fire officer Steve Lee was ecstatic about the new addition to the brigade.
“I’m extremely happy, it’s a great day for the brigade and the community.
“It’s increased our pumping ability by 50% with more water which is a real asset,” Mr Lee said.
The brigade has four vehicles at present: two fire appliances, one large tanker and a four-wheel drive.
The four-wheel drive had been called out 60 times this year already, he said.
The new engine was one of four created and two were distributed to the South Island.
The other was given to the Balclutha Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Eastern Southland had industrial, commercial and residential areas and it was important the brigade had the equipment to ensure they were kept safe.
“The Eastern Southland corridor includes Fonterra, the freezing works, the new factory at McNab .. The economic value for the community that goes through is big.”
“It’s vital that we have this equipment to protect those assets,” Mr Lee said.
The new truck could hook four hoses to the one engine and relay more water to other units when needed.
“Big fires require big water – we’ve got the best fire-fighting resource in the Mataura River.
“With this we are able to relay more water to other pumps.”
In the case of flooding, the engine would help with pumping more water back into the river and away from people’s houses quicker, Mr Lee said.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) regional trainer Ivan Richards, of Dunedin, arrived with the truck in Gore on Tuesday.
“I don’t see it as a fire truck, I see it as an asset to the community,” Mr Richards said.
He would complete sessions with the 40 members of the brigade during the week.
Once the training was completed, the truck would be in use within the next fortnight.
It would replace the number one vehicle at the brigade.
“That truck will be given to another brigade to help them up their equipment.”
It was hoped the truck would stay within Southland but Fenz had not made a final decision yet, he said.
Gore received its last vehicle about four years ago.
Mr Lee was grateful to the brigade, Fenz and the Gore District Council for their support and for recognising the need for the new appliance in Gore.
“It’s a great result for the community.”