Busiest lit­tle sta­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS and thanks to the lo­cal SES, po­lice and the fire and res­cue peo­ple for their bril­liant job in find­ing Li Ping Zhou on Satur­day, bring­ing a happy close to an episode that un­til then was draw­ing darker by the minute as time ran out.

It high­lighted in the most dra­matic way how de­voted, sklled and gen­er­ous all these peo­ple are – not least the vol­un­teers who fill the ranks of the firies and SES.

And the com­mu­nity too helped in ways that were cru­cial to the suc­cess­ful out­come, by help­ing the searchers with in­for­ma­tion as to where the old wo­man may have wan­dered. There were lots of helpers – like the ac­com­mo­da­tion providers and book­ing agents who helped with ar­range­ments for the fam­ily’s un­planned ex­tended stay.

And the taxi driver who charged them as lit­tle as pos­si­ble be­cause he recog­nised them when they needed to travel along the main road as part of their search.

As it hap­pens, the Port Dou­glas emer­gency ser­vices were well set up show their class.

The fire sta­tion re­cently un­der­went a $1 mil­lion dol­lar up­grade and now can func­tion as a high qual­ity base in­clud­ing emer­gency man­age­ment cen­tre thanks to new en­gine bays, dry­ing cab­i­nets, storage, ameni­ties rooms, a pre­mium grade gen­er­a­tor, busi­ness grade tele­coms and other fea­tures.

Ask sta­tion chief Rory Kel­li­her and he tells you it’s first class for a small town. He should know be­cause he has served in whop­pers down in Townsville.

The Port Dou­glas aux­il­iary fire­fight­ers re­spond to 300 call outs per year, mak­ing it the busiest crew north of Bris­bane.

All of these vol­un­teers make this com­mit­ment to help out when called upon, day or night. Not to men­tion the ros­ter­ing at the sta­tion to be on standby and other du­ties. It’s ex­tra­or­di­nary.

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