Fighting "Real" Fires

8 October 2020

Communio is made up of some very brave and talented people who have awesome stories to tell.  One such story is our very own Emma Potton from the Dunedin Mortuary.  

We recently learned that Emma has been an active volunteer member of the Wakari Rural Fire Brigade for almost two years and is a qualified fire fighter and safety officer for the brigade.

Recent National News has been reporting on the terrible fires in the McKenzie district with the recent tragedy at Ohau.  It's been a busy start to the dry season with extreme weather such as high winds and drought throughout the area meaning local resources are stretched to the limit.

Emma was part of the crew sent to fight the Livingstone Fire which broke out on McKenzie Road in the early hours on 4th October. Not far away, the Ohau fires were reported not long after, and both were being fought simultaneously.  The limitations to resources due to 2 fires being fought at the same time makes things just that bit more difficult and without the volunteers to devote their time to helping, it would be devastating to regions like Otago.  The Wakari Fire Brigade were one of 29 Fire and Emergency crews and 9 helicopter crews involved in fighting this fire.

Emma's role was as safety officer to a crew of 11, pump operating to supply water and structure protection.

Thankfully, the Livingstone fire is now contained and has been handed over to DOC to monitor.

What an amazing effort by outstanding people and how proud Communio are to have Emma on our team.

Our thoughts are with the people of Lake Ohau.