The firefighter recruit course is now underway after the arrival of the New Zealand Fire and Emergency trainers.
This is the first time that Fire and Emergency NZ has brought a course to Rarotonga for the volunteer fire brigades and airport fire service.
There are almost 50 local firefighters working with Fire and Emergency to gain their recruit course certificates.
Senior trainer for Breathing Apparatus, Daniel Beban, says the course is very close to what they can achieve in New Zealand. Because of the large numbers, they split up into two groups.
One group is doing “basic skills and ladders” and the other group is doing breathing apparatus training.
They will complete two days of each course skill and then the groups will swap over.
To be able to help so many firefighters at once is fantastic for the island, Beban says.
“We are also going to talk about fire development and do some live fire training.”
They will be lighting fires in a container so the trainees can turn up in their fire appliance and practice putting out a blaze.
“Currently there are three fire brigades around the island and when we went to the markets on Saturday, we got a couple of medical calls there and what was really cool was to see the three brigades actually working together.”
Beban says from what he has seen here seen so far, the firefighters are doing really well.
Volunteer firefighter from the Teimurimotia fire brigade, Pureha Emmanuela says the first course is all about how to use breathing apparatus.
“We have been sweating, it’s tough, it’s hard and it requires a lot of team work.”