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It was a golden celebration for the Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade last month.

The Lake Hawea brigade has celebrated 50 years but due to Covid-19, its planned social night was postponed to later in the year.

In the meantime, the occasion allowed present and past members the opportunity to connect and reflect on the memories shaping the past five decades.

In 1968, Dick Cotter and Ian Kane formed the Hawea fire party, equipped with an old Austin truck, pump trailer from the Vincent county and local farmers as

In 1972, under the NZ Fire Service, the fire party formalised into the Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Land was donated to the brigade, and local families contributed financially and physically to build the first station.

The current station still includes the original premises.

Founding member and patron Mr Cotter credits people such as present Chief Fire Officer Brent Arthur for continuing the voluntary legacy of service.

on 50 years plus is wonderful. Like Brent and all these people still carrying on, that’s the greatest thing for a small district like this to have a fire brigade that’s still operating,Mr Cotter said.

Mr Arthur has been with the brigade for 18 years and said it felt like family.

be proud of is the people, the community we serve and the ability to be able to carry out what we do to the greatest of our ability. It’s a privilege to be a part of it all,

Both Mr Cotter and Mr Arthur credited Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade’s endurance to the gracious support of the local community.

In a recent fundraising quiz, $20,000 was raised which allowed the brigade to purchase a much-needed vehicle.

All about community… current chief fire officer Brent Arthur (left) and founding member Dick Cotter reflected on Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigades’s 50 years of service. PHOTO: ASPEN BRUCE

Mr Arthur said while the basics had not changed, the technology had.

to be more efficient when attending incidents,

Access to appropriate resources had become crucial for volunteer firefighters, with the role and skill set becoming more diverse, Arthur said.

The range of incidents firefighters were exposed to varied, sometimes with limited information of what the situation would entail.

yourself and others,said.

He acknowledged that high prioritisation of support, training and debriefs was an important part of their practice.

Despite five decades of service, technological and situational changes, the consistent thread of support from the community and providing for the community, had not wavered.

The brigade had 22 volunteer members at present.