The Auckland Fire Police is a rather unique fire brigade unit. Where as most Fire brigades have an ancillary support unit that rolls with the appliances to various call-outs, the Fire Police are a separate brigade that are despatched to any call-out in the Auckland region. The unit itself is based from the Central Fire Station in Auckland city.

Though many Fire Brigades have a Fire Police or similar unit, the Auckland Fire Police are attached to no one brigade, and instead respond to incidents throughout Auckland.

The Fire Police are called out to almost all major fire events, and many road accidents. They provide various forms of support for the Firefighters including:

The Fire Police's main job is traffic control and site security. As fully sworn-in constables the Fire Police are able to redirect traffic, set up road blocks, and maintain the perimeter around the site. This leaves the Firefighters to be able to concentrate on the rescue operation, and frees up more Police personnel.

For longer operations, the Fire Police have a canteen unit that provides refreshments and meals to the Firefighters on-scene.

The Auckland Fire Police is staffed entirely by volunteers. They get no pay for any call-outs or incurred expenses. Some feel that this makes them "less" than regular Fire Fighters, or some how a joke unit. However, these volunteers could be doing much better things with their time, but are instead out in the cold and wet doing the "boring" jobs that no one else wants.

The brigade is also the largest volunteer brigade or unit in the country, with over 50 active personnel. The team are made up of people with all types of day jobs. Some are ex-Firefighters, and a lot have a background in emergancy services.

The fire police were originaly formed in 1933, when a large fire broke out in downtown Auckland. The fire consumed a large block of warehouses and shops and during the event, an estimated 10,000 spectators gathered to watch the fire. During the fire there was looting, rioting, and even attacks against the firefighters themselves. To prevent a recurrence, the Fire Chief at the time recruited a group of men, some former Firefighters, and formed the Fire Police. Since then, the Fire Police has responded to nearly all major fires in Auckland.

More Information

In Auckland, New Zealand:

In the rest of the world, contact your local fire department and ask about work as volunteer support personnel.

Please remember to support your local Fire department, visit any field days, donate whenever possible, and pay your taxes (some money does, in the end, reach people who make a difference).

Notes. I am volunteering for the Fire Police at the beginning of next year, and hope to update this information with personal experience then. If you are a member of the Fire Police, and consider anything in here wrong, misinformed, or that it just needs correcting, please let me know.

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