Village manager by day, volunteer firefighter by night

Village manager by day, volunteer firefighter by night

Polly Delfim in her firefighter suit

Village manager by day, volunteer firefighter by night

It’s National Volunteering Week, so we’re celebrating Polly Delfim.

Despite being a busy village manager at Pāpāmoa Beach Village, Polly has recently become a volunteer firefighter. We caught up with Polly to find out why, and if she’s been enjoying it.

So Polly, why did you decide to become a volunteer firefighter?

I wanted to give back to the community. It was driven by me trying to set a good example for my son and show him that you do things out of the goodness of your heart. You do things expecting not much or nothing in return. It’s about teaching him to be a better person, to learn new skills, and to not get comfortable.

What’s your favourite thing about being a firefighter so far?

The comradery within the fire brigade, everybody there is bonded by the same desire to help. The atmosphere and comradery is really great.

Is it scary?

It’s not scary, before you join, you know what you’re in for. But while you’re not scared, you’re mindful of how it can affect you emotionally. We might visit a car crash where a teenager is affected, and having my own teenage son, I have to address how to deal with that. It definitely makes you think about how you will be affected emotionally by one incident or another.

How do you manage this as well as being a busy village manager?

We train once a week outside working hours, and I’m on call every fifth week, only for evenings and nights. Metlifecare has been incredibly supportive in understanding that if I have to answer a call late in the night, I might be late for work in the morning. So the support there has been great.

Do you find volunteering rewarding?

I find it extremely rewarding. Having a registered nurse background, you’re kind of used to helping people anyway, and you always feel rewarded, but being a village manager provides a very different reward. You’re still able to help people, but in a different light. So being able to be there for people at stressful times, and possibly the most difficult time in someone’s life – like dealing with a car accident, death, or fire – it’s definitely rewarding.

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