Rise issue 10 cover

Waikato MSD hero Shaun Libeau

Work and Income case manager Shaun Libeau's volunteer work takes him to the Parachute Festival, motorcross competitions and rodeos. Where there's adrenaline, Shaun's on hand to help.

boy stting on a bus

What do you do when you're not at Work and Income?

I am a volunteer ambulance officer with Ambulance EMT, a Hamilton-based ambulance service specialising in medical transfers and large events. I'm also responsible for security at the Western Community Centre, and am area head of tenting security every January for Parachute Christian Music Festival at Mystery Creek Events Centre. Parachute Festival takes up my time from August to February.

Have you always wanted to be a volunteer ambulance officer?

Ever since I was young, I was fond of the emergency services, and I enjoy caring for people when they need it most. I jumped at the opportunity when the service needed more crew. A good friend of mine is an ambulance officer, so it motivated me to take up the challenge.

I have been working in the events industry since I was in my early teens, volunteering at events like the Rev Cycle Race and the Gallagher Great Race. This opened my eyes to how crucial ambulance volunteers are to the community.

What have you learned from your volunteer work that applies to your role at Work and Income?

Apart from dealing with stressful situations better, I've become more aware of how people's medical conditions affect their day-to-day life. I can understand more about clients with medical issues than someone without a medical background. Plus, my first aid training is more extensive than what's required at work, so that helps my colleagues and clients.

What's most rewarding about your volunteer work?

I like hearing from patients after their accident or illness, about how they are and how their recovery is going. I also enjoy being recognised on the street by patients I have treated and hearing how appreciative they were of the care given.

How do you find the time to do everything?

Goodness knows! I have a passion for the community and event management – so I find time!

What do you like about being a volunteer ambulance officer?

We're a close-knit team and I love being in that setting. Helping people has always been a passion of mine, whether it's working at events, or in everyday life.

What would you say to others thinking about becoming a volunteer?

Go for it! It's awesome and rewarding. You'll never know if you don't try!

Care to share any lighter moments?

I helped up a lady who had collapsed by supporting her head, and her wig came off in my hand. I didn't know what to do, so I kind of rearranged it for her. Thank goodness she was semi-dazed at the time! Then she wanted a photo with me in front of the ambulance to keep as a memory. How nice!