The Ngongotaha Fire Brigade has survived 75 years as a voluntary service and aims to continue to grow. This weekend they celebrated this achievement and currently have 30 volunteer firefighters in their brigade but being a voluntary firefighter is either in you or not.
Chief Fire officer of the Ngongotaha Voluntary Fire Brigade, Francis Boag says that “we do this for nothing we don't get paid for it, we provide the same service as perhaps our counterparts who are careered paid people and we have a good relationship with the Rotorua Brigade and the career staff that work there. They are very supportive of the Ngongotaha brigade and in turn, we are supportive to them as well.”
This weekend the community was able to thank them for their efforts. Tracy Peterson thinks that volunteers whatever the service are just amazing people, “it takes a lot of dedication, time and commitment to give up your spare time to serve the needs of our community and it's also a reflection of the families of those volunteers because they need to sacrifice a lot of their time that their firefighters are out on the road.”
Other branches of the Fire Service, the Coast Guard, Philips Rescue Helicopter service and the NZ Police arrived to celebrate the occasion. This brigade will remain as a voluntary service but the option is open to their members who want to explore this pathway as a paid career.