New Brighton firefighters living at station

3:43 pm on 26 February 2011

Many of the volunteer firefighters in New Brighton have been living at the station since the earthquake, because their homes are too damaged or access to them is restricted.

The fire station has also become a shelter for some residents whose houses are still surrounded by water and without power. About 45 firefighters and families are staying there.

New Brighton station officer Robert Fisher says they've been dealing with flooding, some rescues and numerous callouts for unstable chimneys, as well as fires.

The deputy chief fire officer for the New Brighton fire district, Alan Hickman, says the response times to callouts has lengthened because of the poor state of some roads.

He says crews are alternating two hours on and two hours off, to try to avoid fatigue setting in.

Other teams from out of town have come to help, including volunteers from Sheffield.