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Editorial

January - what a month

February 3 2020 by David Gibbs

January - what a month

Last week was a week of nonstop sirens and Queenstown was making the news for reasons not normally associated with our resort town. Being in the middle of town, it seemed as if emergency services vehicles were travelling back and forwards through the CBD, trying to be everywhere at once. On Thursday afternoon, incidents occurred in Arrowtown, Gibbston Valley and Glenorchy Road.

January must have been trying and difficult month for first responders as our police, fire brigade and ambulance services would have been stretched to the max and individuals on the front line experienced sights that no one wants to witness, let alone with the frequency January brought.

The tail end of 2019 brought the threat of, or in Wanaka’s case, actual flooding. Then, on the 1st January we woke up to bushfire smoke from Australia and since then, the region has been inundated with incidents from wind events and fire to fatal accidents. It’s certainly been a strange start to the year.

With each one of these events the emergency services have been needed and they have delivered. We generally take our emergency services teams for granted and some like to take pot shots at the job they do on a day to day basis, until the time comes where we need them in an emergency and then they are the most important individuals and organisations in the world and they deliver with professionalism, compassion and expertise.

I am clearly not alone in this feeling that January has been a difficult start, judging by the Mayor Boult’s comments made in a release on road safety earlier in the week.

Our first responders are extraordinary people who are doing the job because of the passion they have for making a difference in our community, I take my hat off to them and I certainly know that dealing with what they are exposed to is something I could not do regularly without it impacting me mentally. Whether volunteers or full-time professionals, it’s an important and difficult job. These individuals, whose aim is to protect property and life, are extraordinarily dedicated and committed and I would like to thank all our emergency services personnel for the tremendous contribution in protecting our community. The work you do often goes unnoticed and sometimes under appreciated but as January closes, summer crowds start to lessen and perhaps February will be calmer, I certainly want to take the opportunity to say thank you, once again.

David Gibbs
Queenstown Media Group Operations Manager

- David Gibbs
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