25 Aug 2015

Firefighters quit over fire truck dispute

5:27 pm on 25 August 2015

Six volunteer firefighters have resigned in protest from the Lake Coleridge Rural Fire Force in Canterbury after their fire engine was taken away.

A Selwyn District Council spokesperson confirmed to Radio New Zealand it relocated the truck away in May, saying only one to five fires were recorded per year for the last decade in that area.

The volunteers resigned in June and say they will not go back unless the truck is returned to their force.

Neil Frazer, one of the firefighters, said the force was left with a four-wheel drive they could report a fire from with a radio, but could not actually fight it properly.

He said while the council intended to recruit new firefighters, it would be difficult fighting fires with no senior leadership left.

The council is training new members for the Force.

In a review earlier this year, the council found rural areas around Darfield, Rolleston and West Melton had a noticeable increase in fires.