Dargaville Volunteer Fire Brigade senior fire officer Jeffrey Palmer and his dog Choppa

Fireban still in place

by Ann van Engelen

Dargaville Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Jeffrey Palmer is reminding the Kaipara community that it is still a closed fire season — this means no fires. 

“Stay within your bubble and remember please don’t put our volunteers at unnecessary risk,” says Jeffrey.

“I am a builder working for John Hastings Builders. Due to the lockdown, I am currently not working in the building trade but I am still active in my role as chief fire officer.

“At present, I have weekly conference calls with all Northland chiefs to Fire and Emergency New Zealand discussing Covid-19 and its implications. During the lockdown, most of my time is being taken up working on the list of jobs my wife, Denise, has compiled for me. You know, the ones I said I would do when I had spare time.

“Once the lockdown is over, I look forward to getting back to normal building with my workmates and getting together with family and friends. My bubble consists of myself, Denise, our dog Choppa, cat Miss Chiefy as well as two other cats Nagie and Moby who we couldn’t get into the photo or there would have been trouble.

“My message to everyone across the Kaipara District and beyond is, please stay at home — only go out for essentials. We need to all be in this together and keep our volunteer workers and our families as safe as possible during this time.

“We are still in a total fire ban, and this means, no outside fires are to be lit. Be mindful if you are calling 111 — don’t block up our emergency service lines with non-emergency calls. Identify what smoke is coming from if possible before you call as you are breaking people’s bubbles when you call, and it is not an emergency.”

“To make complaints if you feel someone is not adhering to the lockdown rules go on the 105 support form on the police.govt.nz website.”