Emergency teams receive accolades
IT’S pitch black, the rocks are slippery and conditions in the rainforest are extremely dangerous.
Rockhampton State Emergency Service worker Peter Ruddick is part of a team of 12 crew members trekking through Bouldercombe Falls.
They are carting a stretcher to rescue a badly injured bushwalker who is stranded far inland.
This is just one of the courageous situations our unsung emergency services heroes face on the job.
Thirty-one Central Queenslanders from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) including Rural Operation (RO), the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) were recognised at the Central Region’s 2010 Australia Day Achievement Awards ceremony in Rockhampton last week.
Peter Ruddick, 51, has been a volunteer for the SES for 17 years and is the regional trainer for EMQ, where he helps SES workers gain specialist skills including with road crash and flood rescues.
Peter said one of the most dangerous jobs he could recall from his career was the Bouldercombe Falls rescue about 10 years ago.
“Being pitch black, there was the danger of one of us getting hurt,” Mr Ruddick said.
Once they secured the patient to the stretcher and provided assistance to the paramedic who was flown in by a rescue helicopter, the paramedic and patient were winched up and flown to hospital.
Despite the dangerous situations crews found themselves in daily, it was in their blood to do whatever it took to support their fellow Aussies.
“I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
Peter has always been in the emergency services industry, working for the fire service in Victoria before moving to Rocky.
Meanwhile, south west of Rockhampton at Rolleston, 48-year-old Lionel Jackson is part of the Rolleston Fire Brigade and leads the small primary response team for road crash rescues.
At times Lionel faces the challenge of having to call resources from Springsure, which is 71km away, to assist in life-threatening situations.
One of the big jobs Lionel remembered was a fatal high-speed collision between a truck and Hilux ute.
“Going to high-speed crashes like this there is always a very grim chance of getting there in time to save lives,” Lionel said.
“You can only do what you can, but we were lucky to be able to cut open the ute and pull one person out alive,” he said.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service’s Central Region Acting Superintendent Eddie Lacko said the Australia Day awards were a small way of showing appreciation for the dedication and persistence of the volunteers and paramedic staff.
“They’re on the line 24 hours a day seven days a week,” he said.
He also thanked the police with whom they worked closely.OZ AWARD WINNERS
CQ Emergency Services Australia Day award recipients:
Queensland Fire and Rescute Service:
Everard Smith – Rockhampton
Brad Stockwell – Rockhampton
Dale Toby – Rockhampton
Barry Semple – Rockhampton
Barry Semple – Rockhampton
John Fearnley – Airlie Beach
Robert Carr – Longreach
Ronald White – Emerald
Neil Dunphy - Gogango Rural Fire Brigade
Robert Downey – Gemfields Rural Fire Brigade
Lionel Jackson – Rolleston Fire Brigade
Colin Olive – Dingo Rural fire Brigade
Ronald Church – Anakie Rural Fire Brigade
Ian Travers – Byfield Rural Fire Brigade
Lindsay Tyson – Meteor Crk Rural Fire Brigade
Ivan Western – Cawarral Rural Fire Brigade
Queensland Ambulance Service:
Ian Growcott – Agnes Water
Neil Bawdon – Biloela
Michelle Baxter – Gladstone
Warren Kellett – Emerald
Colin Purton – Calliope
Dennis Pashen – Mt Isa
Emergency Management Queensland:
Doug Meng – Vol. Marine Rescue Ass. Qld Round Hill
Peter Gracie – Vol. Coast Guard Ass. Yeppoon
Ronald Cary – State Emergency Service Calliope
Gary Olive – State Emergency Service Rockhampton
Peter Ruddick – State Emergency Service Rockhampton
Mark Collins – State Emergency Service Rockhampton
Barry Hamilton – State Emergency Service Rockhampton
Bev Daniels – State Emergency Service Rockhampton
Robert Everitt – CQ Video and TV Repairs