Christchurch without heavy aerial this week

PHOTO CREDIT: Otago Daily Times

The lack of planning and procurement of aerial appliances continues to bite around the country.  For the rest of this week Christchurch will be without a heavy aerial as it will be undergoing its scheduled annual certification which takes the appliance off the road for at least 3 days.  Christchurch will have to rely on its sole 17 metre type 4 as the nearest heavy aerial will be Dunedin.  If issues arise during the annual check the heavy aerial could be off the road for longer.

Currently there is no spare heavy aerial fit for purpose in the South Island.  The spare is currently needed in the North Island as FEHZ continues to decide which region has the more pressing need.  The reality is that is the one spare for the country – there is no fat in the system at all. 

The heavy aerials are needed for high rise and for reach cross large properties, for firefighting and for rescue. The lack of aerial appliances is putting responding firefighters and the community at unnecessary and avoidable risk.  The height and reach of a ladder can make all the difference.  It can mean the difference in rescue and firefighting tactical operations. 

Aaron McKay
Christchurch Local President

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