Having already dedicated two decades of his life to fighting fires across Wellington and the Bay of Plenty, Ben Alton thought he’d spend the rest of his career at Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
However, while out on a run with a friend, he learned of an opportunity that was too good to pass up and two weeks later, he was appointed as Rotorua Airport’s new Fire and Operations Manager.
Ben’s diverse career began with a Fine Arts degree, moved into IT and featured a stint in online advertising before he settled in at FENZ, where he reached the rank of Assistant Commander. Now, Ben is excited to take on a new challenge as he manages and maintains the Airport’s operational requirements and fit-for-purpose emergency response services.
“I bring extensive firefighting and incident command experience as well as a lot of leadership and management experience, and I think that makes up for my lack of civil aviation knowledge at the moment, but I will learn quickly.
“We have a crew of eight firefighters who ensure the airport runs safely. From regular terminal safety checks to wildlife management and bird patrols, ensure the runway is clear for landing or take off.” Even in his personal life, Ben is drawn to leadership roles, serving as the Rotorua Trail Running Club President.
“Much of my spare time is spent running and mountain biking, and for a challenge, I run ultra-marathons. Last year I completed the 100-mile Tarawera Ultra-marathon, and I’m preparing to do the Taupō 100km in October.”