Five new firefighters join service

Tuesday November 21, 2017 Written by Published in Local
New Rescue Fire Service fi refi ghters Victor Elikana, Richard Parima, Paul Pureau (middle), Enoka Koronui and Teariki Mahitu. 17112012 New Rescue Fire Service fi refi ghters Victor Elikana, Richard Parima, Paul Pureau (middle), Enoka Koronui and Teariki Mahitu. 17112012

Five new firefighters have joined the Rescue Fire Service after successfully completing the six week-long basic firefighting course last week.


Victor Elikana, Richard Parima, Paul Pureau, Enoka Koronui and Teariki Mahitu joined the service as trainee firefighters after their graduation on Friday.

The five recruits underwent a strenuous training course which included theory and practical work.

Service training officer Amosa Tobia hailed the graduates for taking on “a tough training course” with flying colours.

The training which ran from 8am to 5pm daily, focused on theory work in the morning and practical exercises in the afternoon.

“It was not easy training but all five of them managed to pass and we are pleased with their effort,” Tobia said.

Recruit Victor Elikana, 25, said he joined the Rescue Fire Service because he wanted to “try out something new in life”.

“During the training, I realised this meant more than just trying out,” he said.

Elikana said the theory part of the course was fine, but the physical part proved a tough mountain to climb.

“We had to run long distances in the morning and there were afternoon trainings as well.

“My colleagues played a big part in motivating and helping me through, especially me being the unfit one and all these boys (the other recruits) are fresh out of school.

“I’m proud of what I have achieved and I’m ready to serve.”

Deputy fire chief George Nicholls said the Fire Rescue Service now had 29 firefighters who work in four different shifts at the airport and attend to cases in Rarotonga.

He said they need “at least a couple more” to effectively carry out their duties.

Nicholls said maintaining their staff was another challenge.

“Once they go through the training, they become part of the family and they understand what we stand for. They hardly leave the service because they become attached to this family,” he said.

“But we have some of the families who come from overseas and influence them to migrate which creates vacuum here at the service.”

The newly-graduated recruits are between 18 and 30 years of age.

Nicholls said they consider new recruits based on result of their physical test, academic qualification and medical test.

“Training is not easy. Sometimes they have to train in their full uniform, boots, helmets and the gas cylinder on their back.

“Most of the training has to do with psychology because we have to train them to face the situation on the field which includes working under very hot scenarios and saving lives.”

1 comment

  • Comment Link Nick Williams Wednesday, 22 November 2017 14:51 posted by Nick Williams

    Congratulations and welcome to the brotherhood. Take care of yourselves, your crew, and your community. Be safe!

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