TODAY |

Meet the Kiwi airport firefighters who are always ready 'like a coiled spring'

Some of New Zealand's most highly-trained firefighters work at our airports across the country, and they're ready to go at the drop of a hat.

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Thomas Mead got an inside look at the important role. Source: 1 NEWS

In Christchurch, the squad regularly carries out drills and simulations, as well as training with specialised equipment used to extinguish fires inside of planes.

"You don't really get to cut your teeth on the real thing, so we try and create scenarios as best that we can," Senior Fire Officer Red Fenton told 1 NEWS.

Senior firefighter Barry Thorpe, who has been stationed at the airport for 35 years, has responded to just one aircraft crash - and he says he may never see another one in his career.

However, the team is kept busy, with most of their call-outs due to medical emergencies at the airport.

Firefighter Anita Norris says the team is ready to go, 24/7.

"You're prepared to go without even knowing what's gonna happen.

"It's almost like - the boys described it as - you're like a spring, a coiled spring."