Another one of those special Japan experiences. Being connected up with a local volunteer brigade. Apart from some obvious differences, the situation closely resembled my own Brigade!
Matsumoto Fire Station #21 covers Uchida and Kotobukidai areas south-east of Matsumoto CBD where 2,646 households and 6,357 residents are there. This cross-cultural exchange had been arranged via Yuri at the Matsumoto City Government (see another post on Volunteer Guides). One of his colleagues is a member of this Fire Brigade.
With typical Japanese precision and punctuality, Yuri got me there right on the appointed time of 8:00pm. On the apron were 3 or 4 fire fighters looking over equipment, running pumps and the like. With Yuri acting as interpreter, I got the gist from the Brigade Captain that this team had many similarities to my Hazelbrook Brigade:
- 45 members, about 25 active, about 10 likely to turnout for a call;
- 2 calls a month on average;
- many members work in the CBD, up to an hour away;
- very few young people joining. Most members 35 to 50yo;
- servicing a rural community…
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