HWOSU Operations

Vehicles and Turnouts

Hutt Wairarapa OSU will be responded by the Fire Communications Centre to most significant incidents within our turnout area - the Hutt Valley and immediate surrounds. Typical incidents to which we would be responded to are:

  • All Greater Alarm Incidents
  • K99 (Well Involved) Arrival Messages at Commercial Premesis
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents or Fires where Traffic Control or Lighting assistance is required.

We may also be specifically requested:
  • Lighting Equipment or Power Generation Required
  • Refreshments Required
  • Manpower Required
  • Salvage Required
  • Helicopter Operations Required
  • Traffic or Crowd Control Required

Amongst Volunteer Fire Brigades, Operational Support are unique in that they generally respond directly to incidents in their private vehicles - instead of responding to a Fire Station to ride an Appliance. This means that our members are not required to live within ~4 minutes of their Fire Station, and can instead be strategically placed throughout the turnout region. HWOSU Members are issued with a personal pager which is paged by Firecom. Follow-up messages advising Safe Forward Points or Staging Areas can also be sent.

We have two operational vehicles provided by the New Zealand Fire Service. These are both currently based at Rimutaka Fire Station and can be seen under Vehicles. Each roster has an arrangement with a member handy to Rimutaka Station to uplift one of our vehicles from the station and respond it to the incident. (Depending on the location of the call, additional members may also respond to Rimutaka to ride as crew. This would be arranged on the fly as required.) This vehicle provides radio comms with Firecom and other NZFS Resources, and on arrival usually becomes the Operational Support Command Post. On its arrival, handheld radios are issued to members in attendance for fireground comms.

The first member to arrive at an incident will usually liase with the Officer in Charge at the scene and establish what the requirements of our unit will be. They will then coordinate the initial tasking of members as they arrive. The senior member of the crew will take command of operational support Resources upon their arrival.

At significant incidents, the off-duty crew may be called upon for assistance. Additionally, should there be multiple simultaneous requests for operational support assistance, the off-duty crew would be responded.

Clothing and Equipment

Operation support menbers are issued with Operational Uniform appropriate for their role. This differs to that worn by Firefighters, and suits our unique tasks. This includes:

  • Protective (Waterproof, Reflective) Jacket
  • Waterproof Leggings
  • Working Boots
  • Gloves
  • Reflective Traffic Jerkin
  • Wand/Cone for Traffic Control

Our members are equipped with structure Helmets (Similar to a Firefighters, but Blue in colour, signifying operational support) and additional equipment including Torches and other equipment useful at an incident.

We are also issued with a standard Firefighters Dress and Working Uniforms for wearing at meetings and other official duties.