Wed, May 8, 2024 12:00 PM

Marlborough’s new emergency base on the road


William Woodworth

A new hub for Marlburians to rely on during emergencies, natural disasters or large events has been donated to emergency services in a huge effort from volunteer supporters.

The $130,000, 5.5m long Mobile Community Hub caravan, manufactured by Lysaght in Ashburton, is the second of a series of self-sufficient mobile community hubs that Rotary Clubs, Air Rescue, and community funding are supplying Fire and Emergency New Zealand for the community’s use.

The caravans keep the public provided with food and drink facilities, emergency power, television screens and a home base for Council and Government agencies to work out of.

The Mobile Community Hub caravan gives local organisations an option for a deployable hub for both emergencies and events.

After Whakatū Rotarian Trevor Marshall was inspired after a talk to the club by FENZ and seeing the prototype in action during Nelson’s floods in August 2022, he has led the combined efforts to support emergency responses.

“While emergency crews are dealing with the situation at hand, they can’t be helping people directly affected by it at the time. These can be quickly deployed by the FENZ community teams as a base for people to gather at, find guidance and support, and get up to date information”, he says.

The caravan can be divided into two rooms - a multi-purpose clinic or meeting room, and a fully operational kitchen.

“Rotary and FENZ are both about service above self, so we want to see the hub used in non-emergencies, and not just being a decoration”.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Nelson Marlborough District Manager Grant Haywood echoed Steve, saying that the hub was truly for the community.

“It’s a significant morning for the entire community of Marlborough and Te Tau Ihi because this hub shows the community’s strength and spirit in all facets.

The back of the Community Hub hosts a BBQ.

“You can never underestimate the power that a chat and a cup of tea can have for someone in a stressful situation, which Nelson’s hub has already seen during flooding events.

“The caravan is another tool in the toolbox for us to use in times of emergency when the community need it, but we are just the custodians– it’s here to be used by all”.

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