A champion triathlete is among the 21 firefighter recruits who graduated from the 12-week career firefighter training at our National Training Centre (NTC) today [Sept 19].

The top recruit award went to 32-year-old Gemma Franklin, from Christchurch. Gemma is a former personal trainer, massage therapist and talented multisport athlete, having competed in several Ironman and marathon events.

Gemma clearly has the emergency services in her blood, with her twin sister a police officer and brother a first responder for St John, while her partner works as a nurse in a hospital emergency department. She’s looking forward to “just getting into it” when she returns to her home town to join Christchurch City Fire Brigade.

Also in attendance at the graduation event were representatives of local iwi Te Arawa, board member Wendie Harvey, Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Kerry Gregory, and Deputy Chief Executive People Brendan Nally.

The 21 firefighter graduates will be deployed to the following areas:

Whangarei-Kaipara – 1
Auckland City – 2
Counties-Manukau – 1
Waikato – 1
Bay of Plenty Coast – 1 
Central Lakes – 1 
Taranaki – 1 
Tairawhiti – 2 
Wellington – 5 
Christchurch Metro – 3 
East Otago – 2
Southland – 1


Board member Wendie Harvey, top recruit award winner Gemma Franklin and DCE Service Delivery Kerry Gregory

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