Quake prompts rush of Civil Defence volunteers

8:34 am on 13 October 2010

There has been a record turnout at a meeting for new Civil Defence volunteers in Christchurch.

Usually about 20 people turn up to the sessions, which are held by the city council three times a year.

However, in the wake of the devastating earthquake on 4 September, the meeting on Tuesday night attracted about 90 offers of help.

Those interested in becoming volunteers say they felt helpless in the aftermath of the 7.1 magnitude quake that hit Canterbury.

The council has about 600 Civil Defence volunteers but says it needs 1000 and was forced to bring in volunteers from other areas.

Long-time volunteer Jan Wright says voluntary crews did an excellent job, but there were not enough of them.

Volunteers undertake a 10-week programme in welfare or rescue, after which welfare officers train monthly and rescue volunteers weekly.