Extraordinary Kiwis: Philip Woolf

7:00pm Saturday, July 24 on Prime

Documentary Series

Tonight host Clarke Gayford gets all hot and heavy (literally) as he meets Philip Woolf, a fire chief in the small Golden Bay township of Takaka. This loyal local is also a very astute businessman with a string of hardware stores to his name. His biggest claim to fame, however, is his management of a major fire-fighting operation when the local Fonterra dairy factory caught fire. After the blaze it was touch and go whether Fonterra would re-build or move the processing operation elsewhere. But as Woolf and his team had saved a key milk powder tower which formed the heart of the operation, Fonterra decided to rebuild retaining hundreds of jobs in the remote settlement.

Clarke’s challenge tonight is to keep up with the fire chief on a range of training sessions, including time trials for getting all the equipment on, finding a victim in a smoke filled room and dragging him to safety. It’s a hot business, especially with full fire-fighting protective clothing, and 25kg’s of breathing equipment on your back. Clarke also has to run out the hoses and use water to knock down targets and then cut the roof off a wrecked car to free a trapped passenger!

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