Speaker alert: Dan Coward on the NZFS and the Christchurch earthquakes

The Christchurch earthquakes:  the NZFS response, challenges, and new directions

New Zealanders were shocked when a major earthquake struck Canterbury early on Saturday the 4th of September, 2010.   Earthquakes don’t happen in Canterbury, do they?  

On 22nd of February 2011, that shock turned to disbelief as another major earthquake hit Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region again.   That shock and disbelief turned to grief as our nation watched images of the devastated city, and learned of the rising casualties.   

The New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) played a huge role in the initial response to this earthquake.  Not only was the NZFS a first response agency, it was also directly affected by the earthquake.   The earthquake changed the way the NZFS needs to work.  

 At the time of the earthquake, Dan Coward was the Area Manager for Christchurch Metro Fire Area.   Dan will take us through the NZFS response, and the lessons learned from that response.  

Everything has change for the people of Christchurch.   The NZFS has needed to change how it does its job.   In his new role as Director of Strategic Redevelopment Christchurch, Dan will discuss the challenges faced by the NZFS in Christchurch, and will outline the strategic direction of how the NZFS will now help protect what the people of Canterbury and Christchurch value.


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