History of Hutt Wairarapa Operational Support

History of the Hutt Wairarapa Operational Support Unit (Formally Fire Support and Fire Police)


1955 February 16
The inaugural meeting of the Lower Hutt Fire Police Corps was held at the Lower Hutt fire station commencing at 8pm, CFO H Hume chaired the meeting. Present were G. Vaughn, C. Boncey, S. Percival, J. Carnegie and E. Patterson. It is believed that these people were members of the Legion of Frontiers men who at that time controlled traffic at major incidents. A code of practice was explained to the newly formed group by CFO H. Hume. Their uniform consisted of an armband which was to be worn for identification purposes on all occasions. CFO H Hume was to seek approval from the senior police force officer of the district for the purpose of establishing a volunteer fire police corps and submit names of intending members. The question of insurance and call out procedure were discussed and deferred till a later date.

1955 March
A swearing in ceremony at 8:15pm was carried out by CFO H. Hume in his capacity as a JP at the Lower Hutt Council Chambers. The ceremony was chaired by Mr H. Horler, Chairman of the Fire Board who passed on a message of good will and presented the new members with their identity cards.
Those sworn in were, S. Percivil, B. Lomath, E. Patterson, L. Keys, G. Vaughan, S. Chaab, P. Boldings, C. Bonecy and J. Carnegie. It should be noted that all these members were members of No2 Troop Legion of Frontiersmen.
Also present was Traffic Officer Archer who offered his services in traffic control training, both practical and theory.

1955 March 2
First official meeting of the Hutt Valley Fire Police Corps was held at Hutt City Fire Brigade social rooms commencing 2000 hrs. Call outs would be by telephone with two members elected to make the callout. Rules were promulgated and accepted. The first officers of the unit were elected as follows;
Mr J. Vaughan Captain
Mr S. Percival Deputy Captain,
Mr S. Chaab Equipment Office;
Mr J. Carnegie Secretary

1957 July-August
Discussions held with Stokes Valley Fire Police about working together.
Also mention was made of the Days Bay unit.

1958 November 10
DCFO J.J. Walker presented the unit with white coats and badges, he had also been instructed to get suitable torches and white gloves.
Mr F. Ryan was elected as New Captain.

1959 September 9
Chairman of the Hutt Fire Board, W.G. Bugden, presented the fire police with their first grant of twenty five pounds to help pay running costs of members.
Mr Mullen was the new Captain.

1960 January
First uniform issued to members consisting of a white coat, cap and brown belt.

1960 April 4
New Captain J.V. Carberry.

1960 February
Members commented that their authority was now being recognised because they were wearing a uniform.

1965 April
A letter was received from the Hawera Fire Police regarding the Corp making application to join the NZ Fire Council, more information was requested. It was also decided that for purposes of identification the Captain wear 2 bars and the Deputy wears one on their uniform.

1965 July 7
Application was received from Hawera Fire Police to form a national body.

1965 September 9
Mr Holt now Captain.

1965 October 13
Days Bay Brigade members were asked to return their uniforms now that they were members of Eastbourne. Each member was issued a uniform coat which was to be worn at night.

1966 October 9
DCFO Hugh Henderson left for Auckland and replaced by DCFO Emerys Evans.

1968 November 20
LW Pack is Captain of the Corps.

1969 July 23
Reference to Fire Police and UFBA membership. Letter to Fielding re National Fire Police Association.

1969 August 9
A delegation was sent to Fielding for a discussion on forming a national unit and upon returning a decision was made to accept same.

1970 April 15
Meeting discussed the unlikelihood of being able to join the UFBA. But endorsed the value of the National Fire Police Assn.

1970 june 27
The inaugural meeting of the association of Fire Police was held at Feilding.

1972 April 12
Confirmation of intention to be member of National Association and the forwarding of subscription $6.00. Delegate nominated being Secretary Crane.

1972 August 16
First awards presented to members from Fire Police Association being 2 year certificates.

1973 December 5
Discussions was held about females joining the Fire Police. Decision held over till communication was received from Central Districts.

1974 March 27
Swearing in of members was changed from yearly to permanent.

1976 April 7
First undress uniform issued to members.

1976 June 30
Mr J. Watson received first 5 year medal.

l977 January 25
It was passed at a meeting that recipients of service honors should no longer have to pay for them themselves. Mr J. Watson to be reimbursed the cost of his medal.

1977 June 21
5 year medal recipients ere L. Pack, L. Keyes, L. McMahon, A. Middleton and F. Paulin.

1977 November 23
Mr Jim Watson appointed First Lieutenant. C. Robson and Jim Watson nominated to attend course at Fire Service School, Island Bay.

1978 May 24
Mr L. Keys, A. Middleton and G. Hansen made first Life Honorary members of unit.
J. Watson elected Captain.
5yr medals were presented to L. Brown and M. Burns.
First use of the Unit name Hutt Valley Volunteer Fire Police Corp.

1978 November 22
The shortage of road cones and the lack of communication (radios) at a recent large gorse fire were up for discussion.

1979 February 21
With a full muster of 12 members, discussions were held on a proposal from Upper Hutt Fire Brigade to start a sub unit of Fire Police.

1979 April 25
With the amalgamation of Upper Hutt Fire Police the unit strength increased from 12 to 20 members.
Presentation of 2 yr certificate was made to V. Campbell.

1979 June 27
All members were paid $20 per head to cover call out expenses such as fuel etc.
Sec/OIC was paid a further $25.00 to cover telephone expenses.
First social committee appointed; J.V. Kennedy, V. Campbell, R. Brooks and first training officer appointed.

1980 June 26
After many attempts over the years to have wives invited to a social function, it was finally agreed to do so by members and they were invited to an honors night.

1981 March 25
Discussion about changing name from Fire Police Corps to Fire Police Unit was opposed.

1981 May 27
Rod Brooks appointed Lieutenent.

1981 August 26
First use of the name Hutt Valley Volunteer Fire Police Unit.

1983 June 22
Mike Aamodt elected Lieutenant as Upper Hutt had a need for an officer.

1984 May 23
Mike Aamodt arranged for the donation of 5 radios from BP New Zealand, this was the first time the unit had radios.

1985 April 24
Capt Jim Watson retires and is made Life Honorary Member.
Mike Aamodt appointed OIC and promoted to SSO.

1985 June
Rank structure changed from Captain to Senior Station Officer and Lieutenant to Station Officer.
The position of Deputy Captain was abolished.
There was discussion (sometimes heated) about the advantages and otherwise of joining the UFBA. But with the disbanding of the NFPA members saw the need for the Unit to be a member.
SSO Mike Aamodt drew up a list of members with starting dates and other evidence and had the details certified by a Justice of the Peace. Hence all members had their previous service readily recognised by the UFBA.
There was a major shift in the style and quality of management of the Unit in that a training programme was being set up.
The Unit became a member of the Hutt Valley Sub Association.

1986 January 29
Affiliation fee paid to UFBA. This is the first reference to the Unit being able to be accepted as a member brigade.

1986 May 21
Secretary L Keyes resigned due to ill health. Elected as Life Honorary Member.

1988 May
Unit moved from Lower Hutt Fire Station flat 13 to Petone Fire Station, as premises were required for officer’s space by the fire station.

1990 September 6
SSO Mike Aamodt resigns from Unit, SO P Seal promoted to SSO — OIC of the Unit.

1990 July 7
Lorrie Pack was presented with his gold Star and presentation of Life Honorary Members medal to Mike Aamodt.

1993 June 9
Lorrie Pack elected Life Honorary Member.

1993
Unit moved from Petone Fire Station to Stokes Valley Fire station as a more central area for unit members.

1995
First Fire Service van allocated to Fire Police for their use in responding to incidents and to centralise gear that had been carried before in each member’s cars.

1996
Ray Piper elected first patron of the unit.

1987 May 20
F Paulin resigns due to ill health. Elected Life Honorary Member.

1999
Unit moved from Stokes Valley station to join the newly appointed CST crews at Rimutaka Fire Station. The unit has its own office and storeroom along with the new regional lighting plant which was unable to be stationed at Stokes Valley station due to the lack of space.

2000
Owing to the small lounge at Rimutaka Fire Station, all unit meetings and AGMs had to be held at the Upper Hutt Police Station canteen. The unit became more involved in scene guards for the Police and the Fire Service.

2000 February 5
Model set of rules adopted by the Unit

2000 November 27
A request to the Rimutaka Licensing Trust for a grant of $1500 was approved so the units could kit out their van to store its gear.

2001 August
SO M. Edwards was presented with his Gold Star.

2001 April 2
Social levy introduced of $5.00 per member per fortnight. An interesting move as in the early years a subscription of 2/6 (two shillings and sixpence) per year was paid.

2003 Sept
FP David Ackroyd was presented with his Gold Star

2003
Unit created a senior Fire Police position to bring them into line with Fire Service rank structure which also helps to spread the work load.

2004 February
SSO T Brabyn resigns and is replaced by SSO Phil Campbell.

2004 March
Grant received from Pub Charities for $19,772 for the purchase of 10 radios and 18 sets of wet weather gear.

2004 September
The Unit held a double Gold Star function where FP Rod Brooks and FP Joe Fraser were presented with their Gold Stars. SSO Mike Buchannan was made a Life Honorary Member of the unit and presented his Life Honorary Medal in recognition of his service to the HVFP over the last 23 years.
The Unit has come a long way over the years, but more recently it has grown in strength with the recognition of the wider role the unit has under taken. An increase in calls numbers has also played a large part in our increased profile. In the early 90’s the unit only attended 6 call outs consisting of about 100 man hours in one year. In the years 2003 to 2004 we had increased to 82 call outs and nearly 1500 man hours put in by our members.

2005 February
The Unit achieved 50 years of service to the Hutt Valley Fire District.

2006 April 24
FP David Ackroyd was appointed OIC of the HVFP unit and Promoted to SSO.

2006 June
The Hutt Valley Fire Police website is published @ www.hvfp.org.nz

2007
A 1986 Ford Trader, previously of the Wellington Operational Support Unit and a Regional Asset, is given to the Hutt Valley Fire Police as a second vehicle. It is issued with the callsign Rimutaka 4928. Up until this date HVFP operated the Unit Van (a 2000 Nissan Urvan) coupled with a towed generator/lighting plant (operated as Rimutaka 4926) as their sole response vehicle.

2009 April 18
SO Phil Campbell is presented with his Gold Star(and 2 bars) recognising 29 years service, all with Hutt Valley Fire Support.

2010 August 30
SSO David Ackroyd stands down as OIC due to his pending overseas deployment with the NZ Army for 12 months. Wayne Bedford is promoted to the rank of SSO to act in SSO David Ackroyd's absence.

2010 October 16
Hutt Valley Fire Police Unit holds an Combined Honors night in conjunction with Upper Hutt Volunteer Fire Brigade and Upper Hutt Volunteer Rural Fire Force, a first for all three organisations.