When the Ōtaki Volunteer Fire Brigade took possession of a new fire appliance at the end of November, it must have had the most modern fleet in New Zealand.
Just a month before, Ōtaki received the first of its two new fire engines, giving it the most up-to-date equipment available.
Volunteer firefighters got to commission the new trucks at their Monday evening training sessions, transfering all the equipment across from the old trucks.
“This must surely give the Ōtaki station for now the most modern fleet within all the 652 stations of Fire and Emergency New Zealand,” says Ōtaki fire chief Ian King. “It’s quite an honour for a small-town brigade.”
Both appliances are 2019 Iveco model EC1225s made in Italy. They feature United States-made Darley 2000 litres a minute pumps, and each carry 2100 litres of water. Bodies, pumps and other gear were built and fitted in New Zealand by Fraser Fire of Lower Hutt.
There are now more than 310 of these type of Iveco fire appliances used at volunteer fire stations throughout New Zealand.
The two new trucks are named Ōtaki 411 and 417.
The 411 truck is the first turnout appliance to all fires. It has its pump mid-mounted with a single hose reel at the rear, and looks slightly smaller and lower than 417.
Ōtaki 417 is the first out the door to all motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies and special incidents. It’s the backup for fires (both appliances automatically attend house fires), has its pump at the rear and a hose reel each side. The truck carries the vehicle crash extrication equipment, including Ōtaki’s exclusive Karrak gear that was invented by late firefighter Warren Lauder.
Ōtaki’s two older vehicles, both 2009 models, are to be given to other quieter stations within the region – Te Upoko, Region 3 – of which Ōtaki is part.