Macraes Mine emergency response co-ordinator Steve Renton volunteered at the Otago Field Days as a first aid helper recently. Reporter Ella Stokes caught up with him to see what the job involved.

Steve Renton served 20 years in the New Zealand Defence Force before he started in his current role in 2004.

His job as an emergency response co-ordinator at Macraes Mine is to train, recruit and maintain a team of staff and 50 volunteers.

He is responsible for having a crew at the mine and they also work in the community.

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The work included attending farm accidents, rural fires and motor vehicle accidents.

Mr Renton, of Oamaru, said quite often people think it takes a ''super person'' to do the job but everyone was able to utilise different skills.

''We have different people on the team, all with different skill sets. Some people don't like blood so they are more involved with fires.''

He said the job did have its moments but, when an incident occurred. he had to be pro-active because it happened quickly.

''Most of the time you just get on and do it quickly.

''It's not until after you have an issue and learn ways of how to work through it.''

After 14 years working in emergency response, Mr Renton said he had never been to two accidents or crashes that were the same.

''Every accident is different. I've attended and looked after so many incidents and never once has the same thing happened.''

Mr Renton said his advice if something happens, from a road incident to a small fire, it is always call for help sooner rather than later.

''Things can go bad quickly so it's always good to have help.''

Southern Rural Life