When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Counties Manukau District were in the middle of delivering the Get Firewise programmes to their local schools.

As face-to-face visits at schools were prohibited, the Community Readiness and Recovery team saw an opportunity to continue delivering fire safety education by harnessing technology to live stream the Firefighter Presentation and take the students through a virtual Fire Station.

Counties Manukau team delivering the virtual Firefighter presentation and Live Fire Station Visit to Owairoa Primary School

The team worked closely with the school to identify the right platform and technology, collaborated with the Brigade to create a script for the presenters, and acquired simple equipment: a mini tripod with a mini microphone connected to a mobile phone. The feedback has been fantastic:

‘The virtual fire station visit was informative, creative and interesting. The students were engaged the whole time (the teachers as well). Every member of their team played a great part.’ - Owairoa Primary School

‘It’s always exciting to try new things and even more exciting when they work out and have a positive outcome. I really hope this encourages other brigades to think of Get Firewise presentations in a new way and create opportunities outside the traditional in-class visit.’ – Emma Goldsworthy, Advisor Readiness and Recovery, Counties Manukau

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the team went above and beyond, and it paid off. Being able to see the fire appliance up close helped the student’s engagement with the key messages and content, and, importantly, the initiative strengthened the Brigade’s relationship with the schools.  

‘I had an amazing time with the CRR crew filming our virtual station visits. Fantastic idea and future-proofing our tamariki in ensuring that we can spread our Get Firewise message anytime, anywhere.’ - Paris Winiata, Get Firewise Ambassador & Senior Firefighter, Avalon Station 

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This is one of several initiatives designed to help our people continue engaging with schools and reinforce fire safety learnings delivered through the Get Firewise and Māui-tinei-ahi programmes.

If you’re keen to deliver this, or another, initiative to your community, get in touch with your local Community Readiness and Recovery Team or reach out to sarah.grant@fireandemergency.nz

Read more about the virtual fire station initiative(external link)

Check out other activities and initiatives(external link) available


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