Meet Eliott Charré - Firefighter and rescue operations photographer
On International Firefighters' Day, we sat down for an interview with professional firefighter and operational photographer Eliott Charré to learn more about his experience performing this vocational yet challenging job.PELI: To start off, of course, we would like to know why you became a volunteer firefighter and what aspect of the job you like most.
EC: I became a firefighter because it was my dream since childhood. I first had the chance to be a firefighter in Paris, which is very honourable and prestigious for French people. Being a fireman consists of always being at people’s disposal and supporting them to overcome social distress (something that I witness more and more in my work).
PELI: Could you explain the difficulties a volunteer firefighter has to face and how you combine this work with your regular job?
EC: We have to carry out a minimum of 108 monthly hours as firefighters in addition to our regular job. We also receive a monthly training period of 4 hours which allows us to review certain equipment. In my case, I am lucky enough to be a full-time firefighter and operational photographer all at once. This allows me to go out and help the population during my working hours. In fact, I work 300 monthly hours on average.
PELI: What qualities should a good firefighter have in to your experience?
EC: In my opinion, firefighters should always be responsive, rigorous while performing their tasks, and diligent while in action. No matter if we are professional firefighters or volunteers, we represent a very important segment of society and there is little have room for error. Good firefighters also must be patient and not calm under pressure, because we are often exposed to complex situations in which we must remain cold-blooded and patient.
PELI: Firefighters face serious risks on the job and experience a lot of challenging situations. Is there any operation in particular that you can share with us?
EC: It is true that some rescue missions are unique due to the location or the state of the victims. Even 10 years after beginning my work as a voluntary fireman, I find myself in some situations that are not so obvious as to how to act, and that can make some fearful.
I recall a particular situation that took place in a prison on my 20th birthday. The building caught fire and while we were working to put it out, two prisoners started a mutiny against the prison guards. Consequently, a large part of our department was mobilized to extinguish the fire and the rest had to stop the would-be prison break. Luckily, everything tuned out ok with the help and support of police, ambulance, gendarmerie, and prison service.
PELI: How do PELI products help you in your day-to-day activities? Can you please describe the benefits of each product you own?
EC: Peli has sponsored me with several products that have proven to be very useful for my job. In fact, I am a fireman and operational photographer, and I have many products to secure my personal and professional gear, such as:
R40 Ruck case: This secure and compact case allows me to easily store my drawing tablet, my batteries, and other cables.
0350 Peli Cube Case: In this case, I keep my helmet and lights so that they are fully functional during each mission.
1400: This superb and compact yellow case allows me to secure my video camera, my flashes and my emergency lenses.