Vet nurse putting out fires

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By CARYN WIGMORE

Who do you call when a stray horse gets stuck in a stream?

Vol­un­teer fire­fighter Bex Lawrence.

The 28-year-old is equipped with more res­cue skills than most as a trained vet nurse.

‘‘I’m of­ten the first one they call,’’ says Ms Lawrence, who pre­pares an­i­mals for surgery and mon­i­tors anaes­thet­ics at her lo­cal ve­teri­nary clinic. She finds it re­ward­ing to be on call for emer­gen­cies dur­ing the work­ing day. ‘‘I get the best of both worlds.’’ She ad­mits it is never easy go­ing to trau­matic crashes.

‘‘I’ve al­ways been quite good at putting a dif­fer­ent head on.

‘‘You’re there to do your job and you can’t re­ally let it sink in oth­er­wise it would just af­fect you too much.’’

Ms Lawrence joined the vol­un­teer brigade in Whangarei as an 18-year-old school leaver.

She trans­ferred to Kumeu in 2011 when she took up vet nurs­ing and thrives on ‘‘be­ing out there in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘I like rid­ing on the truck, be­ing able to help peo­ple, the ca­ma­raderie of the brigade, learn­ing new skills that you’d nor­mally never learn.’’

Ms Lawrence has learned to drive class two trucks and says the fire­fight­ers are like a sec­ond family.

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