Mixing music and caring

Ambulance officer-come-disc jockey.

Ambulance officer-come-disc jockey.

Ambo with rhythm: Duncan Chisholm is a St John ambulance officer, but when he isn’t serving the community he lets the rhythm flow in his DJ business. Picture by Aaron Lum

No two days are the same for Gisborne man Duncan Chisholm. The ambulance officer-come-disc jockey thrives in fast-paced and high adrenaline environments.

Mr Chisholm joined the St John Ambulance Service in Gisborne four years ago and trained to become an emergency medical technician.

He tends to the medical needs of the public in communities spanning from Wairoa to Hicks Bay, offering health advice and training young St John cadets.

“We can do anything as straight forward as going to a person who needs someone to talk to, right through to having a person who isn’t talking at all and you are handing them over to the hospital,” Mr Chisholm said.

“It can be one extreme to the other, and then a lot of in-between.”

Mr Chisholm said the fast-paced environment can be intimidating for some, but he enjoys the adrenaline rush he gets from helping people and doing good in the community.

“You can have an intense amount of work and you have demands which differ. You never know what jobs are going to come through, so as soon as your pager goes off you are out and about helping someone.

“You are there to help, you are not there to hinder anybody, and the reward is knowing someone is better off for what we have done.”

Mr Chisholm copes with the pressures of his emergency services role by tuning in to his love of music and theatre.

Mr Chisholm has just taken on the role of the Youth Events Liaison Officer for the St John Central Region as well.

This role will see him looking after the management of St John cadets attending events in the region, providing assistance to other divisions within the events area.

“I have been working a lot with getting the Gisborne cadets back into events and now I am working to do the same with the rest of the region.”

When he is not in the back of an ambulance, Chisholm is likely to be found behind a DJ turntable or setting up lighting rigs at an event.

It was only natural for Mr Chisholm to become involed in theatre. His mother was heavily involved and encouraged him to take part.

“I have been doing theatre stuff since I was five years old and took an interest in the technical side from the age of about 10,” he said.

“Through high school I did a lot of lighting for school productions and events and then I took on a job with one of the local lighting companies. I worked for them for about eight years before I started my own little business on the side.”

Lighthearted job and serious job

Mr Chisholm has played DJ sets and set up lighting for big events such as the BW Summer Festival and Rhythm and Vines, as well as community events.

“It is a job that can take my focus away from the ambo side of things. As much as I enjoy both of them, it is quite nice to have a separation,” he said.

“Every now and then you can have some tough weeks and just by playing music in the weekends or when I get the chance to, it can be very relaxing because it is completely different from my day job.

“When I am playing music it means I can go into my own little zone.”

His father, an electrician, always provides a helping hand.

“The problem with owning my own gear is that you have to fix it if it doesn’t work properly — but Dad always helps me out.

“My favourite things are the 70s, 80s and 90s nights at the Dome Theatre. I also love deejaying weddings.”

On top of the music and the service, Mr Chisholm is studying to become a paramedic and is in his second year.

At Christmas, the Chisholms cover their home in lights and decorations and it is usually one of Gisborne’s most popular.

Mr Chisholm said he has taken over as chief decorator.

“I have sort of taken over the lights on the house. It is something we have done the last few years now and it is so good to see people enjoy it.”

Being busy doesn’t allow Mr Chisholm with much time off, he says.

“But I love what I do.”

While the future for Mr Chisholm’s career is still unclear, he says he’s happy continuing his two passions for many years to come.

No two days are the same for Gisborne man Duncan Chisholm. The ambulance officer-come-disc jockey thrives in fast-paced and high adrenaline environments.

Mr Chisholm joined the St John Ambulance Service in Gisborne four years ago and trained to become an emergency medical technician.

He tends to the medical needs of the public in communities spanning from Wairoa to Hicks Bay, offering health advice and training young St John cadets.

“We can do anything as straight forward as going to a person who needs someone to talk to, right through to having a person who isn’t talking at all and you are handing them over to the hospital,” Mr Chisholm said.

“It can be one extreme to the other, and then a lot of in-between.”

Mr Chisholm said the fast-paced environment can be intimidating for some, but he enjoys the adrenaline rush he gets from helping people and doing good in the community.

“You can have an intense amount of work and you have demands which differ. You never know what jobs are going to come through, so as soon as your pager goes off you are out and about helping someone.

“You are there to help, you are not there to hinder anybody, and the reward is knowing someone is better off for what we have done.”

Mr Chisholm copes with the pressures of his emergency services role by tuning in to his love of music and theatre.

Mr Chisholm has just taken on the role of the Youth Events Liaison Officer for the St John Central Region as well.

This role will see him looking after the management of St John cadets attending events in the region, providing assistance to other divisions within the events area.

“I have been working a lot with getting the Gisborne cadets back into events and now I am working to do the same with the rest of the region.”

When he is not in the back of an ambulance, Chisholm is likely to be found behind a DJ turntable or setting up lighting rigs at an event.

It was only natural for Mr Chisholm to become involed in theatre. His mother was heavily involved and encouraged him to take part.

“I have been doing theatre stuff since I was five years old and took an interest in the technical side from the age of about 10,” he said.

“Through high school I did a lot of lighting for school productions and events and then I took on a job with one of the local lighting companies. I worked for them for about eight years before I started my own little business on the side.”

Lighthearted job and serious job

Mr Chisholm has played DJ sets and set up lighting for big events such as the BW Summer Festival and Rhythm and Vines, as well as community events.

“It is a job that can take my focus away from the ambo side of things. As much as I enjoy both of them, it is quite nice to have a separation,” he said.

“Every now and then you can have some tough weeks and just by playing music in the weekends or when I get the chance to, it can be very relaxing because it is completely different from my day job.

“When I am playing music it means I can go into my own little zone.”

His father, an electrician, always provides a helping hand.

“The problem with owning my own gear is that you have to fix it if it doesn’t work properly — but Dad always helps me out.

“My favourite things are the 70s, 80s and 90s nights at the Dome Theatre. I also love deejaying weddings.”

On top of the music and the service, Mr Chisholm is studying to become a paramedic and is in his second year.

At Christmas, the Chisholms cover their home in lights and decorations and it is usually one of Gisborne’s most popular.

Mr Chisholm said he has taken over as chief decorator.

“I have sort of taken over the lights on the house. It is something we have done the last few years now and it is so good to see people enjoy it.”

Being busy doesn’t allow Mr Chisholm with much time off, he says.

“But I love what I do.”

While the future for Mr Chisholm’s career is still unclear, he says he’s happy continuing his two passions for many years to come.

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