Just like Gotham City, Whakatane has its own superheroes and more specifically we at Trident have three! Seth Hands, Tayla John and Cole Hands are all Year 12 students who successfully balance their commitment to their education with their full time volunteer firefighter duties. During a recent singing practice our resident FireFighters left to respond to a callout and were treated to a round of applause from their peers who knew where their committed friends were off to. When Cole’s pager goes off he says he shifts his focus immediately and as he is committed to respond, he instantly focuses on his role as an employee of the NZ Fire Service. This type of juggle and commitment is no mean feat for anyone, let alone year 12 students, but all three agree the struggle is definitely worth it and they are more than happy to juggle their time and energy between school life and their community service.
For all three it was the influence of their fathers that led them to train and join the essential service that sees them respond to emergencies at any given time of the day or night. Tayla says that following in her father’s footsteps and watching him help their small community of Taneatua influenced her in wanting to help people in need, and the gratitude that the public give for the service she provides makes her day. Seth echoes this sentiment and says that when he finishes a job and people come to shake his hand on a job well done it is the best feeling ever. The adrenaline rush that the students get when they hear a siren or get the call on their pagers is unsurpassed by other experiences of most people their age and they recommend that students who are interested in giving back to the community and helping those in need consider volunteering.
We are very proud of our FireFighters and with a passion like they have, we know they will have a lot of very thankful members of the public out there!