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February 22, 2024
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When the Siren Sounds
Produced by: Amelia Nurse
The Volunteer Fire Brigade in Akaroa has been putting out fires, rescuing horses, and prying survivors out of mangled vehicles for over 100 years. Itís the backbone of this tiny community with 25 trained members on call twenty-four hours a day. When the siren sounds, they drop everything Ė and race to the station and into the trucks. Sometimes itís a car over the edge of a bank on one of the many treacherously windy roads in the region, sometimes a house fire where the occupants are personal friends. Nowadays, there are women on the brigade, and a disabled man who fought hard to get behind the wheel of the truck. What hasnít changed is the camaraderie and friendships formed from years of risking their lives to save others.

Program Credits

When the Siren Sounds was produced and presented by Amelia Nurse of Radio New Zealand. It airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, crossing boundaries.


Historic sites of Akaroa
Visit the historic areas of Akaroa.

The New Zealand Fire Service
Find local fire stations in New Zealand and learn about the services provided by the Akaroa Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Learn more about Akaroa, New Zealand, and what to do there.

New Zealand Fire Service
This Wikipedia article explains the mission, demographics, and structure of the New Zealand Fire Service.

Firefighter's Handbook: Essentials of Firefighting and Emergency Response
by: Delmar Thomson Learning 2004
Learn about the procedures and tactics used by firefighters.

Firefighting: Heroes of Fire and Rescue through History and around the World
by: Neil Wallington 2005
Stories from different times and different places that chronicle the bravery of the men and women who fight fire.

Radio Online
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To order a copy of When the Siren Sounds call us toll-free at 1-888-38-TAPES.

Programs by Amelia Nurse

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