Omakau cyclist Iain Hickey (centre, holding bike) donated
$700 to the Omakau Fire Brigade for the first response
unit, money raised during his marathon rail trail trek.
Happy to receive the funds were (from left) Chief Fire
Officer Sam Leask, Owen McKee, Campbell Wheeler, Adam
Rubie, brigade secretary Sue Harris, Ian Rietveld, Deputy
Chief Fire Officer Lloyd Harris, Stephen Wood, Bill
Cockburn and Regan Harris. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
The Omakau Fire Brigade, which is short of firefighters,
has been eyeing up 80-year-old cyclist Iain Hickey as a
potential recruit. Mr Hickey completed the 150km Otago Central
Rail Trail in one day earlier this month, in the process
raising $700 which he donated to the brigade's first response
unit this week.
''You are an inspiration to us all and prove what can be
done. Most of us retire at 65,'' Chief Fire Officer Sam Leask
said as Mr Hickey handed over the cheque.
''In fact, we're short of firefighters, so we might have to
sign you up.''
Mr Hickey said the brigade did an excellent job and he was
grateful there was a first response unit based in his home
''I've enjoyed the services of the unit. It was about three
years ago, when I had a bit of a heart attack and they were
called out to me - I couldn't speak highly enough of them.''
Mr Leask said the unit was called out 30 to 40 times a year
and the service was funded by donations. It operated with the
assistance of the New Zealand Fire Service and St John and
the vehicle was run by the brigade. The Omakau brigade was
looking for three new recruits, preferably aged between 17
and 65, to train as firefighters.