13 June 2024

Just supporting our communities, says Te Akau rural fire chief, Mike Crosbie QSM

Passion of Trevor Michael Crosbie(Mike) of  “doing our bit to make communities better’ for over 25 years, was formally recognised last month with award of of the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

It was in 1996 when the current owner-operator of a Te Akau garage in Ngāruawāhia, Mike Crosbie along with few others, formed a local volunteer fire force. They bought and fitted out Fire Force’s original 1965 Commer fire truck, as well as their tanker and 4×4 ute.

This led to the formal establishment of Te Akau Voluntary Rural Fire Force in 1997 and Mike Crosbie was appointed as Rural Controller. Since then, he has continued to lead first as Rural Controller, and later as their Chief Fire Officer of the Brigade (as known now) after Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s establishment in 2017.

Mike Crosbie
Trevor Crosbie, JP QSM

The citation acknowledged the 25-years of Mike’s contribution: “Crosbie played a key role in instigating the Te Akau Voluntary Rural Fire Force in 1996, noting the fire risk in the area with the nearest firefighting assistance more than 60 kilometers away. He was instrumental in the acquisition and ongoing maintenance of the Fire Force’s two buildings and three vehicles.

“As owner of Te Akau Garage, he has maintained the vehicles free of charge for 25 years…He has led his team of volunteer firefighters away to courses to improve their skills.”

Mike lives with his partner in Te Akau village and continues to serve the community not only as a voluntary rural fire fighter, but also has been a Justice of the Peace since 2004.

It is nearing 19 years when he was first sworn in as a JP and there is hardly a day when either he is not learning something new or is not able to help the local community, he told NewsViews.

“When we do such things -whether as a JP or fire service, is just to support our communities… everyone does their own little bit, to make community better,” Mike humbly says.

The fire fighters fraternity, local Te Akau community and his family have all expressed their delight that his years of hard work and passion to serve the community, have been acknowledged.

Lisa Lewis, Mike’s eldest daughter who lives in Hamilton, told NewsViews:

“I can tell you that the whole family are delighted and very proud that our father, Mike has been honoured (with a Queens Service Medal) in this way. He has a passion for the fire service and is absolutely dedicated to the fire service and his family. We love him and so very happy his hard work has been acknowledged… A better volunteer fire chef and father could not be found,” says Lisa.

Firefighting in progress
Mike Crosbie with his crew fighting fires

While congratulating Mike Crosbie, the Fire and Emergency New Zealand applauded his leadership qualities and ability to think outside the square.

Daryl Trim, District Manager,Fire and Emergency New Zealand told NewsViews “Throughout his time as Rural Controller and Chief Fire Officer, Mike has been a thoughtful leader who has an innate ability to think outside the box, and is focused on upskilling his team. Read More...


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