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Rural firefighter profile: James Carr

Rural firefighter profile: James Carr

1.       How long have you been a member of the Amberley fire Brigade?

Just over 11 years, coming up through the ranks earning the position of senior firefighter and acting station officer.

2.       What made you want to join the Fire Brigade?

Like any kid growing up, I wanted to be a firefighter to help my community.

Moving to Amberley 13 years ago, I could finally fulfil that dream.

Being approached by senior members it was a clear decision to join.

3.       What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer firefighter?

Being able to help people in their time of need, as well as connections made with people in the community.

The new skills I have learned on courses I use in emergency situations in day to day life.

4.       Tell us a bit about your contracting business?

I established James Carr contracting in 2018.

One of my passions in life is big machinery.

I started out as a contract operator to farmers and contractors around the area assisting them in their operations

I currently have my own tractor doing direct drilling, effluent application and earthmoving.

I’m still learning about business, and have overcome many adversities.

Moving forward, I look to grow my business in the Hurunui District.

5.       How do you juggle your contracting business with call outs?

If I’m close by or in Amberley, I’ll do my best to turn up to help and support the crew.

With long duration calls or natural disasters, I have to extend my work day or week.

6.       What are the biggest challenges facing rural fire brigades?

Lack of people to volunteer.

Also, most people think we are paid full time firefighters and don’t understand the amount of time and commitment it takes to be a volunteer.

Management is often out of touch with the inner workings of brigades, and often forget we are volunteers.

As told to Claire Inkson