The recent Nelson fire and how our auditor helped out


Our audit team member from Christchurch, Jordan Pearson, was involved in the response team for the Nelson fires in early February. Here’s his account and some pictures from his time there.

I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in a volunteer New Zealand Response Team for the last few years. These teams provide response capability in emergencies ranging from staffing the Emergency Operations Centre (for example, planning, operations, logistics, and communications functions) to welfare, first aid and light rescue capability within their local and sometimes, national community.

As many of you will be aware, in early February this year, a large fire was accidentally started in Pigeon Valley near Nelson. Due to a commitment of providing safety for the Coast to Coast race event, I was unable to be a part of the first team to head up to assist. However on 13 February, I received the call to head to the airport and provide support.

While up there we worked closely with Fire and Emergency NZ, NZ Police, Army, Airforce and MPI for a variety of tasks ranging from evacuations, cordons, welfare of residents and animals, and first aid (on my final day there we had a resident come to us with a large knife in their leg!). I was there for six days before being replaced by a fresh team from Palmerston North.

All in all it was (and still is) a massive response from multiple agencies with hundreds of personnel involved across many different roles. Not many people are aware that the fire was still burning in early March, with teams on the ground ensuring it didn’t flare up again.

 

Published Autumn 2019.

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