Putting the community at the heart of our business has been the key driver for the establishment of the new Spencerville Volunteer Brigade, which celebrated the opening of their new station on 1 May.

Spencerville unites the long experience and expertise of the Bottle Lake rural fire force and the Brooklands volunteer brigade, who are now serving the fast-growing community of Spencerville together.

The former Bottle Lake Rural Fire Force was established in 1991 and the Brooklands Brigade in 1973. The Brooklands area was severely impacted by the earthquakes and became a red zone. Speakers at the opening acknowledged the impact that the quakes and their aftermath have had on the brigade’s volunteers, who were pivotal in providing support to their community during the immediate response and the ongoing recovery.

The decision to build a new station to combine both brigades was made as part of the Christchurch Rebuild programme. It reflects the changing needs of the community, and also makes best use of the diverse expertise of both brigades as their patch is a blend of urban housing, semi-rural blocks, an 80ha campground, and forests, which are also popular recreation areas for locals.

Te Ihu Region Manager Paul Henderson says that bringing the two brigades together will provide an enhanced service to the community. “It’s a model for further joint co-location of urban and rural brigades in the future,” he says.

The 31 members of the brigade have been training and responding together from their new station since March, leading the way as the first fully unified brigade in Te Ihu.

Minister Hon. Jan Tinetti opened the new station, accompanied by Board Chair Hon. Paul Swain.

Chief Fire Officer John Reed (left) and Rural Controller Aaron Cassie (right) with Chair Paul Swain and Minister Jan Tinetti

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