On call to save lives
Mark Freeman leads a double life.
The national accounts manager works for Constellation Brands in Huapai but dashes from his desk to save lives every time the Kumeu Volunteer Fire Brigade siren sounds.
The 41-year-old is the newest member of the brigade and encourages others to get involved.
"It's a strange situation because one minute I'm sitting in an office heading a meeting and the next minute I'm out at a train smash taking orders and trying to help people," he says.
"Then it's back to the office and I pick up where I left off."
Mr Freeman was in his first week on duty when he attended a collision between a car and train at Taupaki rail crossing.
He was also on the job when a car plunged off a bluff at the farm bordering Horsman Rd and Jonkers Rd in Bethells. It was the first time he'd seen a dead body at an accident.
Fellow brigade members rang that evening to see how he was, he says.
"There's a very strong camaraderie and I feel like part of a team or a family."
Mr Freeman joined the brigade after a personal appeal for more volunteers from Kumeu senior station officer Simon Shields.
"This was an opportunity to do something that wasn't about me for instance but at the same time to be in a really exciting environment.
"I guess until now I've kind of led a life which has been more about looking after my family and myself," the father of two says.
Support from his company has been fantastic, he says.
"They're really community spirited and a big part of what they value is being part of the community."
Email Ian MacIntosh at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining the Kumeu Volunteer Fire Brigade.