The Auckland Prison Industrial Fire Brigade has been in service for the past 20 years and over these years has continued to be manned by Corrections staff on a voluntary basis. Industrial brigades are similar to regular volunteer fire brigades, but are attached to a particular organisation.
The brigade was initially privately run and its turn out area was only to the prison and the prison village. In 1999 however, the NZ Fire Service recognised the brigade as an Industrial Fire Brigade and with a memorandum of understanding between NZFS and Auckland Prison the status and turnout area of the brigade was extended to cover neighbouring areas as far as Albany, Coatesville and Riverhead.
Registering the brigade with the NZFS has certainly been a plus for Corrections and the NZFS creating better training and resources for the brigade and an added service for a greater rural fire protection coverage. Coverage of these areas are still in place today however with the huge growth that the Auckland region has experienced, further training provided by the NZFS has enabled the brigade to respond beyond their original scope if required.
Since the brigade has been registered with the NZFS the call out rate has increased with calls to bushfires, house fires, car fires, road accidents and weather related emergencies like flooding, fallen trees and power lines. The brigade will turn out on the sound of a siren (situated inside the village) and pager system which is activated by the 111 NZ Fire Communications team.
The brigade’s station is located on Prison grounds. During working hours a fire crew are on site ready to be turned out if required. At night, there are a number of brigade members that can be turned out from the prison village and surrounding areas that are in close proximity to the prison. Recently the brigade received a new Mitsubishi manual Type 2 fire appliance that replaced their 33 year-old Mack. Known as ‘Flick’, this trusted appliance has since taken pride and place at the Wellington Fire Service Museum.