Selwyn’s volunteer firefighters giving back to the community

Call for volunteers

by Mike Isle

Selwyn’s fire stations are in good shape, and most are fully staffed but there is always room for more volunteers says Fire and Emergency NZ.

Fire and Emergency NZ has 338 volunteers across 15 stations in Selwyn. Some such as Lincoln have a waiting list to become volunteer firefighters. Others such as Kirwee are actively seeking volunteers and offer immediate training.

Kirwee’s chief fire officer (CFO) Stuart Jones said joining the brigade offered a great opportunity to learn new skills and become part of a friendly motivated team.

“Becoming a frontline firefighter or a member of the support team is a chance to really help the community and at the same time to learn new skills such as first aid that we can all use in all aspects of our lives.”

Lincoln CFO Jeremy Greenwood, who has been a volunteer for 24 years, said that for him the most satisfying aspect of the job was giving something back to the community.

“I think most volunteers would say the same thing. They have a real sense of community. Of course, there is the opportunity to learn a new set of what we call transferable skills that we can use in the community and the workplace.

“Being a volunteer is immensely rewarding on many levels,” he said.

Fire and Emergency NZ agrees. They say that there are many benefits to becoming a volunteer.

It says an important part of being a volunteer was the opportunity to learn skills such as firefighting, first-aid and medical response, as well as transferable skills in leadership, decision making, problem solving and teamwork.

The pride that comes from volunteering is motivating, rewarding and boosts self-esteem.

“Our volunteer firefighters are the first to respond to fires, medical emergencies, road accidents and other incidents.”

However, not all volunteers are firefighters.

Fire and Emergency NZ say a large and important part of the volunteer service was support and administrative staff.

“We have operational support volunteers who support firefighters at call-outs. Their tasks are outside the incident hot zone such as people and traffic control and transporting equipment,” said a spokesperson.

Anyone wanting to become a volunteer should register their interest at