While Queensland’s dedicated State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers are seen as saviours to those waiting for assistance, their orange overalls are no armour to mother nature’s wrath.
Livingstone SES volunteers were not spared when Tropical Cyclone Marcia ripped through the area on Friday.
Livingstone SES deputy controller Warren Spreadborough said once it was safe to leave his home after the cyclone, he had to chainsaw his way out of his own driveway with so many trees brought down.
“I live in Cawarral and it was flattened,” Mr Spreadborough said.
“The Livingstone SES has over 100 members but in my case, I had to cut my way out of my driveway, then I had to cut my way down the road before I could get out and help others.QFES
“We have had assistance from Mackay SES who have arrived today.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Central Region Assistant Commissioner Ewan Cayzer said more SES were on the way.
“We had crews from Far Northern Region that had been deployed to Brisbane and will be stopping in Central Region on their way home to help for a day,” Mr Cayzer said.
Mr Cayzer, who is also a Yeppoon local, said he was thankful for the way the community had banded together and was showing patience as volunteers tried to make their way to all the jobs.
“We are chipping away at the requests for help but it is important for everyone to remember that the SES and Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) are volunteers, they have regular jobs and families and in many cases, they have properties of their own that have significant damage,” he said.
“We appreciate the assistance and patience from the community. By working together we will get through this disaster as easily as possible.”