Gov­er­nor hon­ours coura­geous he­roes

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Martin Volz

DUR­ING his visit to Charleville, Queens­land Gov­er­nor Paul de Jer­sey com­mended a group of emer­gency work­ers and vol­un­teers for their heroic acts in the Septem­ber 2014 truck ex­plo­sion at An­gel­lala Creek.

The Star of Courage dec­o­ra­tions were awarded at the Charelville RSL Club last Tues­day. The medals were awarded to fire bri­gade and po­lice per­son­nel who helped save eight in­jured peo­ple from the 52 tonne ex­plo­sion of am­mo­nium ni­trate.

Since its in­cep­tion, the Star of Courage has been awarded 150 times. Last week, six of those awards were pre­sented for heroic acts in per­ilous cir­cum­stances.

“That statis­tic alone brings home the ex­tremely hazardous na­ture of the in­ci­dent and the ex­cep­tional ac­tion taken by the four fire­fight­ers and the truck-driv­ers,” Mr de Jer­sey said.

The scene of the ac­ci­dent, An­gel­lala Creek Bridge on the Mitchell High­way, has also been re­named honour­ing those in­jured, and the vol­un­teers and emer­gency work­ers who at­tended to the crash.

It is now of­fi­cially called

He­roes Bridge.

Mr de Jer­sey said the in­vesti­ture cer­e­mony and bridge re­nam­ing stood to sym­bol­ise not only the self­less­ness of the award

re­cip­i­ents but also the char­ac­ter of the Charleville district in fight­ing flood, drought and serv­ing Aus­tralia in World Wars I and II.

“On that oc­ca­sion (2014), I saw the courage, the de­ter­mi­na­tion, and the in­domitable op­ti­mism of the peo­ple of Charleville” he said.

“Each of you has put the well-be­ing of oth­ers ahead of your own safety and, in the process, has shown us all that we can be a bet­ter, more com­pas­sion­ate na­tion.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BRAV­ERY AWARDS: Queens­land Gov­er­nor Paul de Jer­sey and Fire and Rescue per­son­nel at last Tues­day’s In­vesti­ture Cer­e­mony.

ABOVE: The dam­aged fire truck at the scene of the ex­plo­sion caused af­ter a truck car­ry­ing fer­tiliser crashed and rolled on Cun­na­mulla Rd in 2014.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

RIGHT: Queens­land Gov­er­nor Paul de Jer­sey and Fire and Rescue per­son­nel at the in­vesti­ture cer­e­mony.

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