Aggressive tactics used to save service station
A busy petrol station in Napier reopened soon after a large-scale fire broke out at its premises in January because of the stellar work of our people.
The service station is the second busiest BP station in New Zealand and is based along State Highway 2, where it’s a popular stop for truck drivers, locals, visitors to the area.
Area Manager Ken Cooper said that when the fire broke out the BP staff executed their evacuation plan and emergency procedures quickly and evacuated people form the vicinity, including the café on the premises.
“That quick response on their part enabled our Brigades to focus on containing and extinguishing the fire,” says Ken.
Bay View volunteeer fire brigade stationed a short distance from the BP, arrived minutes after the fire had started, and by then its size had already developed significantly. They ensured there was no risk to life and focussed on containing the fire.
Brigades carry out familiarisation visits on key risks as part of Fire and Emergency’s community readiness, this meant the brigade knew where the petrol valves were and how to shut them off instantly.
“The familiarisation visits we regularly undertake really paid dividends. The Bay View brigade were able to act on ensuring hazards were isolated when they arrived,” says Ken.
Career firefighters based at Napier fire station who could see the fire from 5-6km away reached the scene shortly after. The Command and Control policy was executed quickly, with the Volunteer Officer after a swift briefing and agreeing on tactics, handed over command to the career Senior Station Officer, in what was a rapidly evolving situation.
The event was also an opportunity for the Safety Officer at the event to be mentored and guided by an experienced officer.
“The owner of the service station has praised the work of our brigades, and the aggressive tactics we used to ensure no loss of life and no damage to the building itself. The station partially opened 10 days after the event, and was fully operational within three weeks,” says Ken.
Hawke’s Bay has experienced a range of challenging incidents recently, such as the Napier flood event and the ship fire at Napier port. The fire at the BP station is another example that demonstrates to a high level that our people are well prepared and respond effectively to emergencies ensuring the impact to our Hawke’s Bay communities is minimised.