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QRS emergency staff lending a hand around Wairoa during lockdown

Cricklewood before and after

Quality Roading and Services emergency response staff have been quick to lend a hand around Wairoa as the town reacts to the country’s snap Alert Level 4 lockdown.

From traffic control to diesel deliveries, from tree removals to road cone drops, QRS staff are helping the people of Wairoa in any way possible, says chief executive Jeremy Harker.

“We’re a tight knit community and we have a close relationship with other businesses and organisations. There’s always a culture here of wanting to reach out and lend a hand and so that’s what we’re doing any way we can.”

QRS staffers Pete Wairau, Jo Ogilvy and Khalos Brown have been helping with traffic control at the Wairoa Hospital vaccination centre. Mr Wairau says it’s been busy with hundreds of vaccines given but people have been appreciative of the direction and instructions given  by QRS staff. “It’s great to be able to help out this way.”

On Tuesday, just a couple of hours after the lockdown announcement, QRS dropped around 50 road cones to New World Wairoa as the supermarket prepared to operate under Level 4 conditions. And at the same time, two QRS roading crews worked quickly to open Ruapapa Rd and Cricklewood Rd up to traffic. Earlier that day both rural roads had been blocked by fallen trees.

While the two roads were made passable by late Tuesday night, the QRS emergency response crew wanted to do more, says operations manager Anthony O’Sullivan. “It was important that we further clear the roads to ensure that emergency vehicles could also get through if needed.”

So, after being processed with their essential worker credentials, the QRS emergency response team made up of Nicola Williams, Paul Reedy, Jade Beattie, Rai Kupa, Keeanu Lackner and Che Smith went back on Thursday. The two teams worked to open the roads up to two-way traffic while adhering to the stringent Level 4 restrictions. They travelled in separate vehicles, wore personal protective equipment and maintained social distancing while they worked. They attended another two call outs on Friday.

Mr Harker says emergency response team staff have had at least one of their two Covid-19 vaccinations. “Workplaces like ours play a key role in supporting the country’s vaccination campaign,” says Mr Harker. “We started staff vaccinations at QRS in May but its been great to hear that most of our remaining unvaccinated staff have been taking advantage of the drive-through centre at Wairoa Hospital.”

During lockdown QRS has also maintained diesel deliveries to AFFCO Wairoa helping ensure that essential service continues to operate.

Mr Harker says throughout the last lockdown, and this one, QRS has prepared and adapted itself to each situation. “We want to be supportive and helpful to the people of Wairoa.”

Ends 

22 September 2021

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