Record number of emergency calls for volunteer brigade

The Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade have responded to a record number of emergency calls in the first six months of 1998.

Half way through the year they have attended 81, compared to 47 at the same time last year, 53 in 1996, and 44 in 1995. At this rate they are heading for 55% increase in annual calls compared to 1997.

Senior Firefighter Tony Sutorius says that the cause of this increased workload is difficult to explain. "When we look at the numbers, we seem to be doing more of everything, and I understand that's also the trend throughout the region. I suppose this may reflect a higher community awareness of the range of emergencies we can help them with" he says.

The latest callout was to a fire alarm activation at the Pukerua Bay telephone exchange, which was caused by water leaking onto equipment during tonight's rain storm.