As a journalist, I can meet people on their best day — or on their worst day — and it is a real privilege to be able to tell their stories.
Earlier this week, I had to cover an incident involving emergency services in Roxburgh, something I dread attending as you never know what you will come across.
It can be a fine line to walk, covering an event in the public interest, while respecting and protecting the dignity of those involved.
I’m not always sure I get it right.
When covering events like this I tend to focus on those helping rather than the one being helped.
While it was serious, the accident could have been much worse and I believe the quick reactions of the public to help will have played a part in that.
Observing the scene (along with many others) from a distance while the rescue helicopter team prepared to transport a patient, one of the things that stood out to me was the sense of community heroes in action — volunteer firefighters and paramedics, as well as members of the public who stepped in to help.
They weren’t concerned about themselves, and jumped in to help as needed.
We are lucky in Central Otago to live in a place filled with unsung heroes.
As well as those mentioned above who regularly put themselves on the front lines when we need them, there are plenty of people who put others ahead of themselves.
From the volunteers who help mums transition to a new normal with a new baby, assisting with breastfeeding support and creating community; those involved in protecting our wildlife and rescuing them when they have been injured; the neighbours supporting a grieving family; people rallying to send promising young people overseas to compete, to those standing up and fighting for important services and causes in our regions — birthing units, accommodation for families and workers, mental health support and myriad other things we so desperately need.
These are the stories of our region.
The stories behind the incidents, the issues and the events.
These are the stories we are privileged to tell.