REGIONAL HERO: Owen Buckle of the Alton Downs Rural Fire Brigade helped the Rockhampton region in the weeks following Cyclone Marcia.
REGIONAL HERO: Owen Buckle of the Alton Downs Rural Fire Brigade helped the Rockhampton region in the weeks following Cyclone Marcia. Trinette Stevens Roktowen

Unsung heroes fire into action after Marcia

OWEN Buckle is one of the selfless rural firefighters who was there in the region's time of need.

Even before Cyclone Marcia had passed, the first officer at the Alton Downs Rural Fire Brigade was in Rockhampton to help begin the clean-up.

It was the start of a whirlwind fortnight for Owen, who helped with the co-ordination of trucks and clean-up efforts.

Owen said the whole effort was a credit to the crew and everyone who pitched in.

"We got back into Rocky on Saturday morning in our own brigade area to clean up the highway to let emergency vehicles in. The highway was clear by midday Saturday; it was a credit to the guys," he said.

Owen praised the efforts of crews from all over Queensland.

"Come Monday morning, we had 11 crews in total to kick the week off. It was absolutely brilliant... 95% were volunteers," he said.

"We had crews locally that worked for the six days who drove from Rosevale, Agnes Waters and Miriam Vale that were commuting daily.

"To get the news that there was 10 trucks coming from Sunny Coast, another 10 from Toowoomba/Gatton area, people travelled from Black River around Townsville... It was just brilliant to see the help come from across the state."

Owen said there was another group that deserved the community's appreciation - the families behind the crews.

"They need special mention, to allow these guys to go out.

"When you get that call, you leave your family behind knowing that you've got your own clean-up to do. They have left their own properties that needed work to go in and help the more needy," he said.

Nominate a hero

Do you know someone who was a hero in the aftermath of Cyclone Marcia?

If so, let us know by dropping us a line at tmbully@capnews .com.au



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