Wellington Fire Support Unit History

The Wellington Fire Service Support Unit, formally Wellington Volunteer Fire Police Unit and Wellington Operational Support Division, although relatively unknown outside fire fighting circles, has a long and proud history dating back to 1877. The then Mayor of Wellington, was instrumental in the forming of a Volunteer Fire Police Unit, with the object of attending the outbreak of fire, so as to prevent the destruction of property or furniture, and to watch over goods of any kind whilst exposed, so as to prevent their being carried away by unauthorised people.

Wellington citizens of those days were ready to assist in the clearance of stock or furniture whenever a fire threatened their towns' premises, but, not all deposited their finds on the pavement.

And so 1877 saw the beginning of Fire Police in Wellington. That Unit disbanded in 1886. It was some thirteen years later, 12 October 1899 the Division as we know it today was established.

The Division have gone through many changes during their history, from the original set up to protect salvaged property to actual fire fighting roles. Today, the Division still provides a valuable role in protecting property along with other support roles at an incident.

The men and women who have served have met many challenges, some of which are well documented in the 75th Jubilee publication, The Will To Serve, and the Centenary Book, 100 Years of Voluntary Service. Recent years and restructuring have probably seen the greatest changes in the Divisions history.

The Unit has survived a period that has seen two world wars and a depression. Those who served the Unit/Division are proud to work within the framework of the New Zealand Fire Service and look forward to many more years in which they can be of service to their community.