Helping patients most rewarding for firefighter
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 @fireandemergency.nz 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.