Fri, May 17, 2024 6:00 AM

Family fun fire afternoon for Tapawera


Eloise Martyn

Tapawera firefighters have launched a unique initiative alongside their recruitment drive: they’re seeking volunteers to provide childcare while parents answer the call of duty.

Recognising the challenge faced by parents balancing firefighting commitments and childcare responsibilities, this new initiative aims to ensure that no firefighter faces the impossible choice between serving their community and caring for their children.

“My husband and I are both volunteer firefighters so we take turns going depending on who is available, however if it’s a big one and we are both required then my mum will come and watch the kids, however, she has a full-time job and sometimes that’s just not possible,” volunteer firefighter Laura Fry explains.

Laura says that the station has been successful with recruitment recently and has added five new volunteers to the team, which is fantastic, but has also shone a spotlight on the crucial need for a childcare solution for the firefighters.

“We are not the only ones in this position, altogether we have six kids under the age of five and another small handful under the age of 10 that at any given time may need to be cared for so that we can respond.”

To address this, the brigade has planned a free family fun day this weekend to foster community connections, introducing the new recruits, and see if any community members can help with childminding.

The event will have fire-related games, activities for adults and children, a competition for local adults who want to test their firefighting skills, and a sausage sizzle.

All the donations will go towards a childminder specifically appointed to help the parents respond to emergencies.

Laura says that anyone in a position to support their brigade by donating time would be appreciated.

“Come and chat to us, childminding is a way you can support us to respond quickly.”

*Free Family Fun Day – Tapawera Volunteer Fire Brigade, 105 Main Rd, Tapawera, Sunday, 19 May, 10am - 2pm.

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