I’m no hero, says inferno rescuer
RAVENSHOE blast rescuer Ian Geoghegan sees it like a disaster film on loop or replay.
He hears an explosion. He sees smoke. He starts sprinting. Towards flames. Into the inferno.
“I’m no hero,” said the National Australia Bank manager at Ravenshoe, population 900, in North Queensland.
“You just react. Nothing seemed real. Time and space was surreal. People were crawling, lying in the gutter, skin smoking, clothes burnt off, there was smoke, dust, broken glass and debris.”
In a town of a hundred heroes, locals rallied to help 20 patrons of that ill- fated cafe after a ute crashed into a gas tank and detonated a fireball on June 9. Rescuers doused the burns with water, wrapped torched skin in cling- wrap and told jokes to keep up spirits.
“I keep seeing it over and over in my head,” said Mr Geoghegan, who has been nominated for the Pride of Australia Outstanding Bravery Medal. “It’s on a loop. All the injured were just so stoic.”
However, the next test will come in the next few weeks and months as survivors return from hospital.
Not to mention ongoing support for trips to Brisbane and Cairns for skin graft operations and check- ups.
“I’m proud to call Ravenshoe home,’’ Mr Geoghegan said.
“Home is where the heart town has a whole lot of heart.”