Fire Service starts to stand down local staff

11:30 am on 5 March 2011

The Fire Service is standing down local staff who have been involved in the search and rescue effort in Christchurch.

It will do so on a progressive basis, starting from Saturday.

The service's assistant commissioner, Paul Baxter, says it's time for staff from Christchurch to focus on what is happening in their own lives.

He says it's important for them to go home and look after their families. "A lot of them have got damaged homes and have got children that are desperately wanting to see their fathers, their mothers."

Mr Baxter says they have gone above and beyond in the work they've done.

The Fire Service welfare team is providing assistance to staff who need it.