Rot­tnest’s best recog­nised

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

PASKO Miku­lan­dra’s work vol­un­teer­ing at Rot­tnest Is­land’s Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice has earned him a pres­ti­gious ser­vice medal and 15-year clasp from the De­part­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices.

A plumber and gas fit­ter by trade, Mr Miku­lan­dra has wit­nessed his fair share of nar­row es­capes over the past 16 years as vol­un­teer brigade cap­tain on the is­land.

In 2006, he co-or­di­nated a res­cue of six peo­ple from a plane that crashed into the salt lake.

“I re­mem­ber I was fill­ing up the fire truck and saw a plane fly­ing lower and lower, I re­alised it was about to crash,” Mr Miku­lan­dra said.

“It flipped over in the lake and there were peo­ple on board call­ing out for help.

“I had to cut one young woman out of the plane, her leg was stuck but she was freed with only mi­nor in­juries – it was a close call.”

The Rot­tnest Is­land Au­thor­ity kept the pre­sen­ta­tion of the medal a closely guarded se­cret, telling Mr Miku­lan­dra it was an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on se­vere weather warn­ing prepa­ra­tions.

“Not much gets past me on the is­land so it was a wel­come sur­prise,” he said.

“It was re­ally over­whelm­ing I didn’t ex­pect it.”

Although the iso­la­tion from the main­land was a chal­lenge, Mr Miku­lan­dra said he en­joyed the is­land life.

“The great thing about liv­ing on Rot­tnest is the en­vi­ron­ment; it’s a fan­tas­tic place to raise kids,” he said.

“Both of my kids were nearly born there.”

Mr Miku­lan­dra met and mar­ried his wife on Rot­tnest and his el­dest daugh­ter com­pleted five years at Rot­tnest Pri­mary School.

“The main rea­son for leav­ing the is­land is my el­dest daugh­ter start­ing high school,” he said.

Former Rot­tnest Fire and Res­cue vol­un­teer Pasko Miku­lan­dra.

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