Helping residents back on their feet
Working alongside Brisbane residents to clean-up their houses during recent floods, Australian Army medics deployed to St Lucia and rendered medical assistance to residents and volunteers assisting with the flood relief effort.
CAPTION: Army Corporal Sebastian Evens (off camera – right) from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, applies a bandage to St Lucia resident Ms Ann Mckenzie. Story by Lieutenant NIc Hawkins. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.
Wading through almost a metre of water, mud and silt to access underground car parks and storage lockers, residents and soldiers grappled with hazards to clear cars, motorcycles and other debris.
Local retiree Mrs Anna McKenzie fell and injured her leg while cleaning up alongside soldiers, requiring immediate medical attention, and Army medics did not hesitate to treat the injury.
“The Army medic came to my rescue and cleaned and patched up the wound on my leg, it was a real mess, he was so courteous and professional,” Mrs McKenzie said.
Mrs Mackenzie’s husband served as a doctor in the Navy for many years with his last posting at HMAS Penguin.
“He used to tell me about times like this, when he and his colleagues would work hard to help others in their time of need, feel safe and get them back on their feet,” she said.
“I felt very important while the young corporal attended to me.”
Corporal Sebastian Evans from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), was quick to lend a hand to Mrs McKenzie after her fall.
“It all happened so fast, this is a very different experience for me and the other soldiers, helping the residents of St Lucia to get back into their homes,” Corporal Evans said.
“Mud and debris are lining the streets up to two meters high, we feel privileged to be here, especially when I found out later that Mrs McKenzie’s husband also served in the ADF.
“It was particularly rewarding to be able to help patch her up.”
Mrs McKenzie was appreciative of Corporal Evans’ efforts, but also for 6RAR assisting with the clean-up.
“Seeing the soldiers arrive, walking towards us in double file, gloves and backpacks on was such a reassuring image, one I will keep with me for a long time,” she said.
“The sense of relief it gave all of us, the residents have talked about it a lot these past days. It was a huge emotional boost.
“The soldiers needed no direction, they got stuck in and did everything asked and more, we are all overjoyed by their help and presence here.
“I’m so proud of them and very grateful.”