Beachgoer safety at popular Piha Beach has received a timely boost with the addition of two new purpose equipped Toyota Hilux 4WD vehicles to the emergency response equipment operated by the Piha Surf Life Saving Club.
Thanks to a sponsorship extended by Toyota Financial Services and a grant from Grassroots Trust, the two new vehicles have been handed over by North Western Toyota in time for the summer patrolling season that commences at Labour Weekend. The vehicles will be used in support of lifeguard patrols at Piha, and when lifeguards respond to emergency events locally in support of other emergency services. Piha’s lifeguards consistently rank amongst the busiest in New Zealand, last year Piha volunteers spent 7,028 hours performing 27 rescues, 66 first aids, 55 searches and 17,000 preventative actions. 85% of the work undertaken by lifeguards in the northern region is now well away from the traditional flagged patrolled areas, involving lifeguards using their extensive water rescue, emergency medical and incident management training.
In handing over the keys to the two vehicles, North-Western Toyota’s CEO, Mark Jago, applauded the work undertaken by surf lifesavers nationwide. “The entire Toyota family across New Zealand is incredibly proud to be getting behind surf life-saving. Its an incredibly vital organisation contributing something special to our communities and public safety. Their volunteerism and frequent acts of bravery are pretty unique and highly deserving of charitable and sponsorship support”.
Through a scheme engineered by the Lifesavers Foundation, Toyota Financial Services now provides nearly 50 vehicles nationwide for surf life-saving purposes, the largest vehicle support program of its type in New Zealand. Grassroots Trust is funding the operating leases of 20 HiLux first responder vehicles in use at 17 high-activity beaches across the Auckland, Northland, Waikato and Eastern Bay of Plenty Regions.