Australia Day medallion recipient Lionel Jackson is part of the Rolleston Fire Brigade and leads the town’s small primary response team for road crash rescues.
Australia Day medallion recipient Lionel Jackson is part of the Rolleston Fire Brigade and leads the town’s small primary response team for road crash rescues. CHRIS ISON

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

Rural Operation:

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



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