HELP­ING RE­GION RE­COVER

Jamie puts skills to test for a cause

Gatton Star - - FRONT PAGE - Ali Kuchel ali.kuchel@gat­ton­star.com.au

AS TROP­I­CAL Cy­clone Deb­bie was ap­proach­ing north Queens­land, residents were stock­ing up and tak­ing cover in their homes.

But fire-fight­ing troops from across Queens­land and New South Wales were

❝other I’ve done jobs, like fires at night, but not on this level.

— Jamie Re­side

be­ing de­ployed to the re­gion, in­clud­ing Hat­ton Vale Sum­mer­holm’s first officer Jamie Re­side. With very lit­tle no­tice, Mr Re­side was sent to Townsville as the logistics officer for an In­ci­dent Man­age­ment Team.

His team was re­spon­si­ble for re­sourc­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, trans­port and what­ever fire­fight­ers needed. Mr Re­side said at times, they were find­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion for up to 60 fire­fight­ers at a time, get­ting hire ve­hi­cles and find­ing meals and bed­ding for those closer to the im­pact zone.

Based at the Re­gional Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre, Mr Re­side said it was an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Ev­ery­one just mixed re­ally well, there were no rank­ing de­bates, ev­ery­one was here to do their job,” he said.

“You weren’t on the de­ploy­ment be­cause of your rank, it was be­cause of your qual­i­fi­ca­tions and train­ing.”

In an or­di­nary day, Mr Re­side is the first officer at Hat­ton Vale Sum­mer­holm Ru­ral Fire Brigade, and the Lai­d­ley group officer. Af­ter the 2011 floods, he fur­thered his train­ing as a logistics officer, adding an­other set of skills to his belt.

“I’ve tried to go on dif­fer­ent de­ploy­ments be­fore, but it’s ei­ther been called off or I couldn’t get time off work,” he said.

“I’ve done other jobs, like fires at night, but not on this level.”

The IMT crew, a team of seven, stayed in Mackay for about five days be­fore re­turn­ing home.

“It would have been good to be out on the ground and help­ing, but the job was still chal­leng­ing, es­pe­cially in that lead­er­ship role,” Mr Re­side said.

PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

HELP­ING HAND: Sum­mer­holm Hat­ton Vale Ru­ral Fire Brigade first officer Jamie Re­side vol­un­teered in the wake of Ex-trop­i­cal cy­clone Deb­bie.

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