Former college to go up in smoke in a good cause
9 September 2015
A disused Taihape school building will provide one final service to the community this weekend before its demolition.
About 100 firefighters from 13 central North Island brigades will descend on the former Taihape College from 11-13
September to carry out a series of live training exercises aimed at ensuring crews receive safe, but realistic practice
in battling fires.
Whanganui Area Manager Bernie Rush said paid and volunteer firefighters would conduct exercises in individual rooms
before the entire building was set alight in a final large-scale exercise.
Mr Rush said the Fire Service held such exercises as often as suitable buildings became available, although these were
usually small rural houses or commercial buildings.
“The scale of this exercise makes it unique for our crews and will present some challenging scenarios for them.
“The goal of the three-day exercise is to maintain firefighters’ operational readiness but also to show less experienced
members the successive stages of a fire’s development and how to adapt their techniques to each stage.”
Firefighters from two stations in Palmerston North and one in Whanganui will attend Friday’s exercises. Crews from
Taumaranui, Ohakune, Taihape, Whakapapa, Owhango and Waiouru will attend on Saturday. Crews from Bulls, Marton,
Hunterville, Feilding and Tokomaru will take part on Sunday.
The 53-year-old school was replaced by Taihape Area School, which opened in 2009 and caters for students of all ages in
The former college is in Rauma Road, on the town’s outskirts.