As well as working at Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Bay View resident Ian Lilburn has found the time over the past two decades to contribute to the safety of his community as a volunteer with the Bay View Volunteer Fire Brigade, and the Hawke's Bay Coastguard.
How long have you been volunteering?
I have been a volunteer at the Bay View Volunteer Fire Brigade for almost 25 years now, initially starting like any new brigade member, but for the past 15 years or so have been a station officer for the brigade. This is a senior role where the key decisions at an incident are made and the safety for the fire crew ultimately lie. I am also an active member of the Hawke's Bay Coastguard where I am involved in regular weekly training, searching for missing persons or boats and assisting boaties when they experience engine problems. I have been a member of the Coastguard for three years.
Why do you give your time freely?
Being a volunteer for two organisations involved in the rescue and/or assistance of people and property does take up considerable time, however I find this most rewarding. Being a volunteer means I will respond to an incident when I can. There are obvious restrictions during the normal working day that limit my ability to respond to a fire call, however my employer acknowledges my contribution to the community and if available, I do respond to Coastguard callouts.
What's the biggest buzz you get from it?
In both the Coastguard and Volunteer Fire Brigade, I am working with people who have a similar attitude in wanting to help people and the community in which we live; who enjoy a good time but when called upon to carry out a rescue or fight a fire, do it in a well-trained and professional manner. There are situations that are tragic, then there are incidents where the outcome is most rewarding, where a life has been saved or property prevented from being destroyed. It is these outcomes that provide a real buzz for me and the crew as well. I like to be active and take on challenges that have a degree of adventure to them. My involvement with both the Coastguard and Fire Brigade certainly cater for this as there is always an unknown factor of what will be involved in an incident. It gets the adrenalin going.