Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Duncan
Fisher outside his front door. Photo by Christina McDonald.
There's no rest from fire callouts for Queenstown
Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Duncan Fisher.
Mr Fisher lives at the Queenstown Fire Station, as do about
five other volunteers.
''It's not a quiet house,'' Mr Fisher said, referring to the
company and open house policy for volunteers, rather than to
the fire alarm.
''It's rare that there's no-one here.''
He has been a volunteer for nine years and has lived at the
station for four.
Though they live at the station, the volunteers were on a
roster system which the station has been trialling for the
last three months.
Mr Fisher said 20 brigades throughout the country were
trialling a system where volunteers logged in and out of a
computer which monitored who was available ''and if there's
not enough people it sends a message''.
He owns and operates Southernmost Classics and being
self-employed meant he was able to make up the time later if
he was called out but he acknowledged ''sometimes work does
have to come first''.
''But because I'm my own boss ... I'm quite flexible with
His ''big love'' of the Fire Service was the camaraderie, he
said, and when major fires broke out like the Night 'n Day
fire in 2007 and the World Bar fire in May, this was obvious.
''Multiple brigades turn up and we all know what we're doing.
Everybody sort of helps each other out [and] it brings all
your training together.''
He said many people might not realise how much behind the
scenes work and training went on, and especially with the
position he was in.
''A lot of people don't realise when they come to Queenstown
that we are volunteers because we turn out as quick as