Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

{Rescue Team Aids } {Devastated Country}; A Specially Trained Crew Share Their Experiences of Death and Destruction in Indonesia with Peter Foley

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

{Rescue Team Aids } {Devastated Country}; A Specially Trained Crew Share Their Experiences of Death and Destruction in Indonesia with Peter Foley

Article excerpt

FIVE highly-trained Ipswich fire and rescue officers have returned home after an experience that tested them professionally and personally.

Scott Beasley, Jed Crosby, Nathan Chadwick, Daniel Skellern and Phil Paff were part of the humanitarian mission to earthquake-hit Sumatra.

Mr Paff, a station officer at Ipswich fire station, said the emotionally enduring impact of the week-long mission came from the people - the people they couldn't save and the people left behind.

"They're a resilient bunch," said Mr Paff, who admitted to being "frazzled" yesterday after flying home on Thursday.

"There was a woman sleeping on the footpath out the front of a destroyed building because her husband was in there. She's hoping like anything someone's going to pull him out alive but you know that realistically his chances are zero or near enough to it. But she's just clinging on to that last bit of hope.

"We tried, we did everything we could but everyone we pulled out was deceased. That miracle Stuart Diver-type situation? It didn't happen.

"When you get home, the price of fuel, politics, none of that matters; you just realise what a lucky country we are. They're our neighbours but we're worlds apart."

He said the five firies from Ipswich were part of a 36-strong rescue team that left RAAF Base Amberley on a C-17 last Friday.

"The resources the RAAF was taking over was basically us, our specialised gear and all the gear we needed to function for our time over there and be self-sufficient," Mr Paff said.

"In Australia there is one United Nations-classified heavy rescue team, which is the Queensland team. In order to be recognised by the UN we need to meet certain performance guidelines and one is being able to rock 'n' roll -'wheels up' - in six hours and for the people to be assembled in two.

"The majority are from Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts, Ipswich and Toowoomba because we're near the major airports and the RAAF Base. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.