LENDING a helping hand in a time of crisis.
That's what five of Wallerawang's RFS brigade members did recently as they were deployed to assist in the flood clean-up on the Mid North Coast.
Gena Dray, Ian Dray, Ernie Hughes, Keith Barrett and Blake Coleman trekked to Port Macquarie and the North Shore beaches on Wednesday, March 24 on a seven hour fire truck drive.
Wallerawang RFS captain Ernie Hughes said his crew members were there for a total of five days.
"We left on the Wednesday and came back on Sunday, it was a mess to clean up but I'm proud of our efforts," he said.
Firefighter Gena Dray said the deployment had the crew helping to clean up houses and cart food and water from boats.
"We cleaned out water damaged furniture from houses that were inundated with floodwater and lifting up carpet," she said.
"The North Shore Beach was completely cut off as the road had washed away so we were helping deliver supplies by boat."
Gena said the work got "dirty and smelly" and many members were overwhelmed by the state of some areas.
"It was very emotional, devastating and heartbreaking to see what people had lost but everyone done well to pull together and it feels amazing to be able to help our fellow Australians," she said.
She said there was still plenty of cleaning up to do but she was filled with pride in being able to support those in need.
"Even us just having a good chat to the locals and offering a smile is a huge stress relief for them," she said.
The Wallerawang brigade members spent their stay at the Port Macquarie sports stadium on stretcher beds and sleeping bags with food provided by the local Rotary Club.
"We left our truck there for other crews and made an eight hour bus trip home, we arrived tired but fulfilled with our efforts," Gena said.
Mr Hughes said he would be more than happy to take a crew up to assist again.
"We'd be more than happy to go again I just have to wait and see if head office put the call out," he said.
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