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Funds bring huge benefits
Timaru Herald, Timaru Canterbury  by Rachael Comer
30 Nov 2017
General News - Page 2 - 420 words - ID 880684773 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 491.00cm2

A community grant to a South Canterbury volunteer fire brigade has been a welcome contribution to fundraising efforts and will mean faster response times, the brigade's fire chief says.

The Glenavy Volunteer Fire Brigade received $20,000 towards the purchase of a first response emergency vehicle in the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury's final round of funding for the year.

Glenavy fire chief Bevin Joyce said the grant brings the brigade "very close" to the fundraising target of $150,000 to purchase the first response vehicle - a 4WD double cab which would carry medical supplies.

"We are very grateful for the grant. We now have about $146,000 through fundraising efforts locally and through grants."

In July last year the brigade became the second in the region to gain its first responder qualification. Rakaia is the other brigade with the qualification. Having a first response qualification means that the brigade can attend any medical call. Other brigades in the region are call responders, meaning they can respond to cardiac and respiratory events as well.

Joyce said the brigade had a fire appliance and a rural water tanker already. As well as a new vehicle, the money being raised would also be used for a garage for the first response vehicle, as well as equipment.

"This vehicle means we can respond with two first response qualified personnel immediately.

It will be a quicker response time and obviously that means a better outcome for the patient."

The brigade had undertaken the qualifications because of its location, he said. The nearest ambulances were located in Waimate, Kurow, Oamaru or Timaru.

Training to become a first responder had involved four full days of initial training, which took place over the course of two weekends.

Joyce said crew members then had to complete 16 hours of training each year to keep the qualification. He was particularly grateful to Glenavy School which had held a fundraising event. "They raised between $3000 and $4000 which was brilliant."

Other community organisations to receive grants in this round included $2000 to the K2 Youth Development Trust towards Kiwi Can social learning programmes in Mid and South Canterbury schools, Volunteering Mid and South Canterbury also received the same amount for operational costs. The St Vincent de Paul Society South Canterbury's food bank received $10,000 towards supplies.

Netball South Canterbury received $9764 and the YMCA South and Mid Canterbury $7650.

Caption Text:
Glenavy chief fire officer Bevin Joyce is pleased with donations towards a new first response vehicle. PHOTO: DOUG FIELD/ STUFF

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