An emergency call-out to Santa Claus

By Taroi Black

Understanding the world of emergency services is central to keeping friends and whānau safe over the festive season.  The Sirens & Sounds Careers Festival allows the public to interact with those who go beyond the call of duty.   

The NZ Police, Fire & Emergency Services and St John Ambulance put on the event, featuring Santa Claus arriving on a NZ Police helicopter, for the wider community of Tāmaki Makaurau. 

Auckland Police Constable Alfred Uluinayau says, "The purpose of the event is to get the community engaged with all the emergency services and providing safety messages."

It's the sixth year the event, which draws more than 10,000 people, has been running in Auckland.  Activities include visual displays that teach children how to escape a burning house, interactive learning around CPR, or watching the police dogs skillfully mastering an obstacle course.


The Fire and Emergency Services received around 82,567 call-outs in 2017.  Volunteer worker Tara Hape says the festival sheds light on what they do every day.

"So many people have attended to support the Fire and Emergency Services, NZ Police and St John Ambulance. It's a great initiative," says Hape.

The festival is also the perfect event to give more people employment opportunities. "We've got 1800 officers to recruit in the next couple of years and so that is the aim," says Uluinayau.