HWOSU met at the Stokes Valley RSA to reflect on and celebrate another successful year.
Invited guests were welcomed and SSO Wayne Bedford delivered his report on the year past commenting on some of the highlights below
The last 12 months have been very successful for the unit and we continue to progress and grow although it has been a year of change.
In June we experienced another name change to Hutt Wairarapa Operational Support which is a combination of our Unit, Wainuiomata, Greytown, Featherston and Martinborough giving Area wide coverage of Operational Support.
The unit got together for a farewell dinner for our ex SSO David Ackroyd on Saturday 30th June. Many stories were shared amongst the members and guests during the evening.
SSO Bedford presented fire fighter figurines to David on behalf of the unit members in appreciation of his years of service and leadership to our unit.
A fantastic night was had by all.
HVFS would like to pass on their congratulations to our previous SSO David Ackroyd who was the recipient of the DSD (Distinguished Service Decoration) in the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List for 2012
Major David Ackroyd transferred from our unit in March and now takes up position of Executive Officer of the National Army Museum in Waiouru and has also joined the Waiouru Fire Brigade.
HVFS wishes Major Ackroyd well for the future
2001 was declared International Year of the Volunteer by the United Nations General Assembly. They recognised the importance and value of volunteer service to social, humanitarian, cultural and economic causes, and peace-keeping. For this to happen, greater recognition and promotion of volunteers and their work was called for. A medal was issued to celebrate this and those who had served as a Fire Service volunteer for 90 days between December 2000 and December 2001 were eligible to receive these.
2011 is the 10th anniversary and it was decided to recognise volunteers again in a similar way and using the same criteria. Hutt Valley Fire Support celebrated International Year of the Volunteer on Satuday 10 December 2011 with special parade where eligible members were presented with International Year of the Volunteer medals by Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy. Longer serving personnel already holding this medal received a bar to signify 10 years. The orange on the ribbon represents New Zealand Volunteer Firefighters and the blue in the centre is the colour representing the United Nations who sanctioned this award.
Friends, families and participating employers attended as this function also included our launch of the Employer Recognition Programme. Read related story
Two honours were also presented:
- SSO David Ackroyd - Gold Bar for 33 years service
- SO Mike Lock - Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
|Hutt Valley Fire Support members on parade to receive their International Year of the Volunteer Medals|
- International Year of the Volunteer Medal
- Volunteering New Zealand
- World Volunteer Web
- United Nations Website
- Volunteering with Hutt Valley Fire Support
Images courtesy of QFF Bruce Key
Hutt Wairarapa Operational Support officially recognised employers of members at a presentation at Rimutaka station on 10 December 2011
The Employer Recognition Scheme acknowledges and thanks employers of volunteer Fire Service Personnel who might have to leave their work to turn out and self-employed members for whom work would stop altogether. Participating employers are offered benefits such as having their brand displayed on fire service vehicles as a public acknowledgement of their support and the use of the Fire Service Employer Programme in their own advertising.
Participating employers and representatives of Hutt Valley Fire Support members were presented with certificates which can also be displayed in a prominent area of the workplace for public and colleagues to view.
Companies, employers or businesses recognised include:
- Kiwi Rail Passenger
- Linfox Logistics Ltd
- NZ Wireless
- Safeworx Wellington Ltd
- Total Telecommunications Ltd
|HVFS members with their employers and co-owners of businesses with RIMU 4928 displaying the newly unveiled employer recognition decals|
Images courtesy of QFF Bruce Key
Members of Fire Support Units have to be able to perform a diverse set of roles:traffic control, crowd control, operating an aqua-vac in flooding, first aid, K19, landing helicopters to name but a few.
Over the past few years one member has performed an additional role: Father Christmas at the annual Hutt Valley Fire Brigade's children's Christmas party.