VIDEO: Rural fire crews head to cyclone zone for clean up
RURAL Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) volunteers are flocking from far and wide to assist with the clean up following Tropical Cyclone Marcia's path of devastation through central Queensland.
Out the back of the Rockhampton Fire and Rescue Station, a few gazebos and some trestle tables make up a mustering area where rural fire volunteers meet and are assigned their tasks. It could be anything from a tree through a house to a hosing out a flood damaged property.
On Monday alone, RFSQ volunteers completed 101 jobs in Rockhampton, with each crew working through about eight to 10 daily.
Crews are putting in long days of labouring work, with many commuting to and from their native brigade locations.
Dave McNamara and Joe Daboul commuted with a crew of five from their station in Tannum Sands - an 80-minute trip south of Rockhampton.
They said a large part of their work on Monday had been consoling homeowners who had lost everything.
"Many people are in fear, a lot of the people we are seeing are elderly and it's too much to handle," Mr McNamara said.
"But others are calm and are just getting on with it.
"We are mostly reassuring people - we will be here for as many days as they need us."
Mr Deboul works normally as a mechanical technician but on his few days off, felt it was his responsibility to help out the Rockhampton community.
"This is the first time I've been involved in a cyclone clean up, but some of our crew have had experience before so it's great to have them on board," he said.
"One job that has stuck with me was a family - the husband was ill, the son was disabled and their back yard was full of tree debris that would have taken one man three to four days to clear.
"We got a team of 10 there and had it cleared up in an hour and the family were very appreciative, even offering to donate to the brigade."
See more about the QFES response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia on Facebook and Twitter.