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Thanks to Firefighters Following Canterbury Earthquake

( The Minister Responsible for the New Zealand Fire Service, Nathan Guy, has visited firefighters in Canterbury today to inspect the recovery work and thank them for their efforts over the last week.

“Firefighters have done an outstanding job here in Canterbury and have worked themselves to a standstill. I’ve heard some amazing stories of firefighters who have seen their own homes destroyed but have rushed off to help others in need.

“Many people are shaken and upset by this event and the continuing aftershocks. Even just the presence of uniformed firefighters gives a real boost to the community.

“Initially the Fire Service were involved in assisting with medical incidents and freeing a small number of people trapped in buildings or vehicles. The major task now is dealing with structural incidents and focusing on a positive recovery. The Fire Service is still dealing with around 400 calls a day.

“Three Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams consisting of engineers, paramedics and technicians have been busy inspecting and shoring up dangerous structures.

“The public feedback has been fantastic and I saw some wonderful ‘thank you’ notes from the public at the USAR base in Woolston.

“I’m pleased that the new command Hazmat vehicles launched this year have been so successful operating as mobile control units.

“Additional crews and appliances are now being deployed from around New Zealand to relieve tired staff and increase the resources on the front line.

“There is still plenty of hard work ahead, but this has been another reminder of how much our society relies on emergency services like firefighters in times of need.”

Media Release 10 September 2010 from Nathan Guy, Minister of Internal Affairs.



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