Who's Who Volunteers

Richie Law

Richie Law

RICHIE LAW - CONTROLLER OF BLENHEIM VOLUNTEER RURAL FIRE FORCE

I joined at the inception of Blenheim Rural Fireforce in 2001.

I have been the Fireforce Controller since 2014 and also involved with the Regional Incident Management Team for Marlborough.

I am married to Christine and have two grown up daughters. 

Currently I am managing our family vineyard operation.  Over the years I have held various positions including mussel checker in the Sounds, arborist, Marriage Celebrant, Cruiseship Captain, water taxi driver, Chief Instructor/instructor at Outward Bound just to name a few. 

I have participated in long distance running called ultramarathons, having twice run 100km over mountains and six Kepler Challenges.

In 2013, while on a fire deployment to Victoria Australia, on a day off I made the mistake of going for an extra long run in about 35 degree up a mountain and had to lie in a small creek for 30 mins drinking most of the water.  Now I have a sports car and drive there.

One of my highlights has been a deployment to Alberta, Canada.  I had the opportunity to drive Chevy trucks, fly in Iroquois helicopters, fight fires in swamps and work with some wonderful people.  I was given a Mexican unit to manage at one fire.  On the first day at lunch time, having eaten and getting up to start work again, I was politely told to sit down and have a siesta. I really enjoyed working with the Mexicans.......

Over the years I have enjoyed the challenges and opportunities that Rural Fire Fighting has given me and am sure there will be more to come.

Steve Smith - Blenheim VRFF Authorised Person and Volunteer with Fire and Emergency

Steve Smith - Blenheim VRFF

 

Name:                                                   Steve Smith
Crew Name:                                           Blenheim Rural
Position:                                                
Firefighter
Previous crew experience:                    
Nil
Service length:                                      From around February 2016

I am one of the newer members of the local crew and from day one I have been impressed by the attention that is given to safety and training.  All I would want from the new organisation is a commitment to continue this.

Why do you volunteer:
I sold my business some years ago and as I had a good run thought it was time I started giving back to the community.
I am married with two daughters (twins, aged 25).
 
I am originally from Thames and prior to moving to Blenheim in 2003 (my wife’s home town) my business was based in Auckland.  In the last few years I have completed four Ironman events and spent two years (off and on) doing voluntary work in the Pacific. I was there teaching commerce and business.  My favourite place was Malaita in the Solomon Islands.
 
Fire fighters in the Solomon Islands have a local name which translates to ‘Miracle Workers’.  When I queried this they said that their equipment and gear is so out-dated if they can actually get to a fire it is a miracle.

Campbell Harvey

Campbell Harvey

 Name:                                                      Campbell Harvey

Crew Name:                                           Blenheim Rural
Position:                                                
Volunteer Firefighter
Previous crew experience:               
Nil
Service length:                                      Two years

As a volunteer what do you want from the new organisation: To continue to allow ground-up innovation and new ideas for fire-fighting in rural settings.

Why do you volunteer: To muck in and do my bit.

I am single with no children.

I’ve come into rural firefighting via Forestry – my day job. I’m an outdoors type and love what Marlborough has to offer in the back country, spending a lot of spare time out and about in the hills and the Sounds. I’m a runner also, competing for Marlborough Athletics in the middle-distance races. You might even see me do the odd long trail running race if someone’s twisted my arm.

I also appreciate sleep nowadays as 3am pager alerts can be unwelcome even at the best of times!

Ian Montgomery (Monty)

Ian Montgomery (Monty)

Ian Montgomery (Monty)


Okiwi Bay Voluntary Rural Fire Force

Position: Controller & Permit issuing RFO

Founding member since Okiwi Bay VRFF was formed as a registered fire force in 1993


Since inception of Fire and Emergency New Zealand we have seen an increase in funding which has been positive and I look forward to having a closer relationship with our counterparts, Rai Valley Urban Volunteers. I also look forward to the new training systems we have heard about which will make the job of a Controller much easier to ensure all crews training is current.

My reasons for volunteering are probably similar to many others, in wanting to put something back into the community I live in, and emergency service volunteers are absolutely required if we are to have any services outside major towns.

I am married and without the support of my wife Pam who was also involved with fire & ambulance in the past, I would not be able to be involved with volunteering for Fire and Ambulance in Okiwi bay.

I was born in Nelson and worked in Automotive engineering, Marine Engineering, Specialist welding, Computing, and as a Tutor for Nelson Polytechnic. My hobbies have included sailing, boating and fishing, hunting, skiing, small bore shooting, and I was a volunteer with both the Nelson Civil Defence team and Nelson Coastguard, and I am a volunteer backup operator for Nelson marine radio.

I lived in Nelson until we moved to Okiwi Bay in 1991 to build and then open Okiwi Bay Holiday Park & Lodge and the Okiwi Bay Store in 1993.

Olivia Ward

Olivia Ward

OLIVIA WARD - VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER FOR FLAXBOURNE VRFF

I have been a rural firefighter in Ward for over two years now. My work is based in town as a qualified carpenter so miss out on a lot of our local call outs but I’m always available in the weekend for volunteer work within the local volunteer rural fire force.

The reason I became a rural firefighter was to be more involved in our local community, and I enjoy the learning and training involved to better my skills. 

In my leisure time I enjoy the outdoors hunting, hiking and anything physically demanding.  That is why I enjoy my job and being involved with the local volunteer fire force.  I love a challenge and no day is ever the same.