Seven of the 18 members are Fonterra employees, working in various areas at Fonterra’s Edgecumbe site.
Fonterra Edgecumbe L8 Supervisor and volunteer firefighter Tracey Lloyd says, “I was actually blown away. I didn’t expect us to win at all. At the end of the day, we don’t do what we do to get recognised, we do it for the community. It was quite a shock.”
“We were up against around 25 other groups, ranging from the Salvation Army, Riding for the Disabled, Bike Clubs and so forth. There was a massive spectrum of people there who were all volunteers.”
Edgecumbe Service Manager Bruce Knight says to come away with the Supreme award was real recognition of what we as a local group, achieved firstly in the 2017 flood event, and also what we do to help our community each time the siren goes.
“Fonterra has supported us in so many ways including time to attend emergencies, tankers, training assistance, a fantastic training ground with all the risks on site - just to name a few.”
To date, Tracey Llyod, Jarrad West, Bruce Knight, Adrian Massey, Iain Powell, Guy Askew and Charlie Tipper have served collectively as volunteers for 140 years.
Tracey and Bruce gave an emotional eight-minute presentation in Queenstown about the resilient Edgecumbe community and the hard work their volunteers put in.
“I shared memories of the flooding last year that affected hundreds of people. We also talked about things we do in the community like doing demonstrations, visiting preschools and the things we do to fundraise.
“I finished the presentation with some words from one of our members who had died earlier this year. Wendy Cobden’s family have been members of the brigade for 76 years. It was in their blood so it was a really special thing to be able to do for her and her family.”