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Firefighters‘ plea “wait until it’s safe”

Fire station remain restricted to critical personnel only.

With the announcement that New Zealand will remain in Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm Monday, April 27, New Zealanders can rest assured that Fire and Emergency will continue to be there.

Chief Executive Rhys Jones says Fire and Emergency will continue to take precautions to keep our firefighters, and the communities they serve, safe.

"Fire stations will remain restricted to critical personnel and firefighters will be wearing PPE when they turn up to a call where patients are showing symptoms of COVID-19."

Rhys says while we must remain in Alert Level 4 for a bit longer, New Zealanders need to remain vigilant and do their bit to prevent the virus spreading.

"We ask that you continue to hold off those non-essential outdoor fires so that our firefighters don’t need to leave their bubbles unnecessarily.

"Burning rubbish and garden waste is not essential right now.

"Even if the fire is under control, the smoke often results in 111 calls which mean our firefighters need to deal with an avoidable call and risk exposure to COVID-19.

"Please be patient and wait until it is safe."

While New Zealanders are asked to stay home and in their bubbles, Rhys says it’s also important that we stay fire safe.

"Check your smoke alarms are working and make sure your bubble has an escape plan.

"Make sure your work stations aren’t overloading power plugs - one appliance per socket - and don’t leave cooking unattended. If you need to walk away from your cooking for any reason, make sure you switch off the stove.

"Thank you to all our firefighters, emergency services and essential workers for your continued service during these unprecedented times.

"We are proud of the way our people have adjusted to working under COVID-19 while continuing to focus on keeping themselves safe in order to care for and serve their communities during this difficult time.

"Thank you also New Zealand for doing your bit to keep us all safe. We are all in this together"

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