Help­ing pa­tients most re­ward­ing for fire­fighter

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - JAY BORE­HAM

Bee­hives, burn­ing build­ings, honey and hys­te­ria are all in a day’s work for Cal­lum McCombe.

The 22-year-old is a bee­keeper by trade and a fire­fighter first re­spon­der in the Sil­verdale Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade.

Orig­i­nally from Omoko­roa, McCombe’s fa­ther was a para­medic, and he had a lot of friends in the emer­gency ser­vices and wanted to fol­low suit.

At 16 he trav­elled to Sil­verdale for a ride along with a friend at the sta­tion, and was hooked af­ter fight­ing his first fire.

He joined up back home in Omoko­roa while work­ing as main­te­nance en­gi­neer at chem­i­cal fac­to­ries.

Three years ago he de­cided he wanted a change of scenery and was at­tracted to the Sil­verdale Fire Sta­tion.

Do­ing odd jobs when he first ar­rived saw him fall into bee­keep­ing which he re­ally en­joys.

With the roll of fire­fight­ers evolv­ing to med­i­cal emer­gen­cies and all sorts of call­outs, McCombe said call­outs can of­ten be quite

‘‘There needs to be dig­nity and re­spect in the way you talk to peo­ple.’’


One job he at­tended early last sum­mer sticks out. A car had ploughed into a power pole and McCombe’s crew was called to re­spond to as­sist the two peo­ple in it.

‘‘They were trans­port­ing liq­uid metham­phetamine and metham­phetamine crys­tals in bags - but shoved in­side sex toys.

‘‘When we got there, [they were] strewn all over the place and this guy in his un­der­wear was freak­ing out on the side of the road.’’

The thing he finds the most re­ward­ing is help­ing pa­tients in their time of need.

As a trained med­i­cal first re­spon­der he of­ten finds him­self bring­ing peo­ple back to life, ad­min­is­ter­ing med­i­ca­tion to keep them alive, or help­ing them in times of great dis­tress.

‘‘It is quite a unique and in­ti­mate sort of role.

‘‘You have been in­vited into their home and they’re in a vul­ner­a­ble state. So there needs to be dig­nity and re­spect in the way you talk to peo­ple, and a bit of vul­ner­a­bil­ity on both sides so you can com­mu­ni­cate, build rap­ports and fix what­ever it is.’’

Sil­verdale Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade are re­cruit­ing their next batch of re­cruits to help keep the Rodney com­mu­nity safe.

Email Nigel.Leakey @fire­an­de­mer­ or call him on 0223 207 674 for more.


Dur­ing the day Cal­lum McCombe is a hum­ble bee­keeper. If a call comes in Cal­lum will drop ev­ery­thing to trans­form into a fire­fighter and med­i­cal first re­spon­der with the Sil­verdale Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade.

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