Now we know Mayor Ray Wallace isn't afraid of heights. He was treated to a skylift in the newest of all the Minoh Firetrucks - up over 50ft in the air.
The Mayor was very keen to see the city's emergency services and what they and Council have learned since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He was extremely impressed with the techology the emergency services operations centre and says that we can learn much from our friends in Minoh.
"Most people have fire extinguishers in their kitchens and virtually all homes have smoke alarms, something I would like to see in all homes in Lower Hutt," says Mayor Wallace.
"It's pretty clear that residents are well educated with so few call outs for fire services."
When we visited any office or building in Japan, it was pretty clear that health and safety is taken very seriously in this country. In times of need NZ has sent teams to Japan and they've come here. When we mentioned our own innovators to some in Osaka they were very impressed at the custom technology that local firm Fraser Fire and Rescue are pumping out.
The Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade have recently been over and shared some joint training with their counterparts in Porirua's sister city Nisshio, Japan and one of their volunteers, Graeme Penty, has been part of our visit this year in his role as a teacher at Tui Glen School.
Years ago the Wainuiomata Bush Fire Force received a fire truck from Minoh City. There are good connections between firefighters in these cities and perhaps some potential to share a whole lot more.
BY JAMES LAMB, HMHFT SECRETARY