Fire chief honoured

Don Gerrand, left, with 2016-2019 Cambridge Community Board chairman Mike Pettit.

Days after handing out life membership awards to two members of the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Brigade its chief has himself been honoured.

Don Gerrand – one of three Queens Service Medal holders in the brigade – has been presented with a Cambridge Community Board Community Award.

Tributes paid to Gerrand noted he had “lived and breathed the Cambridge Fire Brigade for more than 50 years”.

He presented awards at the end of last month to Win Steen and Steve Russell before an audience of about 100, including Waipa District Mayor and Mayoress, Jim and Robyn Mylchreest.

This time it was his turn. Community Board chair Mike Pettit said “many of us can only imagine the scenes that Don has witnessed over the years from fires, floods, motor vehicle accidents, tornadoes and more recently the involvement in medical incidents.

“He is a dedicated brigade member who has attended well over 8000 call outs and scheduled musters during his 50 years in service.”

Gerrand has been the Cambridge Fire Chief for a quarter of a century – and a man described a “doer”.

“When certain primary school completed building a 260,000-litre swimming pool the principal went and asked Don if the Fire brigade could do a practice drill at the school and put out an imaginary fire that would be located in a large fibreglass pit. He along with his crew obliged and miraculously it took exactly 260,000 litres to put it out,” Pettit said.

He had “front footed” projects including fundraising for six water tankers, fundraising for and then building the current fire station and purchasing support vehicles for accidents and rescue operations including the latest purchase, which is also used for CPR medical events.

Gerrand, a panel beater, joined the Cambridge brigade soon after marrying Jocelyn and the couple, who have two children and five grandchildren, have been wed for 50 years.

Richie has followed in his father’s footsteps and served in the Cambridge Fire Brigade for 30 years.

Pettit said Don Gerrand was a role model who always put 100 percent effort to the Cambridge Fire Brigade and supporting the Cambridge Community.

“You have made our town a better and safer to live.”

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