Marton chief fire officer Kevin Darling and his brigade have welcomed a new fire truck (file photo).
The Marton Volunteer Fire Brigade has received a shiny new fire truck.
The truck is being replaced as part of Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s cycle of updating equipment.
The new truck has Māori patterns in its livery.
Brigade chief Kevin Darling said the new design was there because it was important to show respect to Māori culture.
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“I think Fire and Emergency New Zealand is all about inclusivity and values and the heritage that we have in New Zealand, and they’re reflecting that now in the delivery or the branding of our appliances.”
The truck was this week welcomed by the brigade with a blessing ceremony.
“You know when that siren goes, we kind of drop everything and we get aboard on that appliance. And we may be going to try and save a life, we may be going to save a property, and I think to have that vehicle properly blessed is a really important thing for us to keep us safe and remind us of what it is we do.”
Fire and Emergency New Zealand brought in kaumātua Mike Paki to perform the blessing on Monday.
“They’ve contacted the iwi and the iwi have sent them to me. So, it’s always an honour and a privilege to do this sort of work. I have huge respect for firemen and the job they do,” Paki said.
Part of the Ngāti Apa iwi, Paki said the blessing was his first of a fire truck.
The ceremony lasted about 10 minutes.
The brigade is made up solely of volunteers, which Darling said was the case for most firefighters around New Zealand.
“We’re just very fortunate that all our employers allow us to drop tools when the siren goes and responders are required.”