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Tarrington re-engages its members
This once rural brigade is fast becoming a mini suburb of Hamilton, but when Shane Palmer became captain two years ago numbers were stagnant.
“It was the same people on the truck every time,” said Shane, “and we wanted to spread the load. We understand that people get busy. The brigade is quiet with about eight to 10 incidents a year and people forget.”
The brigade management team (BMT) and Brigade Sustainability Project looked at the membership of 50 – who had moved away; who was now retired. The BMT then rang all members as part of a re-engagement plan, asking whether the person still want to be involved and, if so, whether operational or working behind the scenes. The BMT also drafted a letter thanking all members for their time and commitment.
“About 70 per cent of members re-engaged following the ring-around,” said Shane. “We followed up with more training including a structure fire refresher. An MVA [motor vehicle accident] exercise is coming up and we visit Penshurst training ground twice a year on top of the annual draughting and burnover exercises.
“We’ve also had eight new members, mostly in their 30s, qualify in Min Skills in the last 18 months. Some of them came up through Juniors 15 years ago and they’ve come back. We have the whole gamut.”
Running the District 5 champs both last year and this year boosted the brigade’s funds and gave those dormant members a chance to reactivate.
“I’d say get out there at local cultural and community events and have a presence,” continued Shane. “Keep your members’ interest. “We’re all together as a brigade now. It’s ‘us’ and ‘we’.”