Gympie RRT 2nd Innings In One Month
The township of Gympie situated 160km north of Brisbane which experienced severe flooding in late January as a result of the aftermath of cyclone Oswald was again inundated after heavy rainfall in South East Queensland during February. This was the second time the town has flooded for 2013 and the fifth time in just two years. The Mary River, which runs through the town, rose rapidly during these floods peaking at 20.3m in January and 18.44m in February, both times inundating a large number of businesses and cutting the township off from the rest of the state.
The local Plymouth Brethren quickly rallied to support the Emergency Services during both events. On the 29th January the Gympie Rapid Relief Team (RRT) set up a food venue at the State Emergency Services (SES) headquarters to provide the much needed refreshments for hard working emergency personnel. Over the next two days more than 100 hot meals were provided to SES, Ambulance, Police and Emergency personnel who were working tirelessly to assist persons affected by the flood. In addition, meals were transferred by boat, to emergency service personnel working on the other side of the river.
The RRT service continued until the flood waters receded and the emergency services had finished their work. Emergency Services expressed their sincere appreciation of the support provided, remarking………”This is excellent, normally we have to come back after a long day, wet and exhausted and cook our own meals……….generally we get a lot more tired than we have this time.” There is nothing like a good hot meal to keep up strength and morale!
Barely a month later, on the 26th February, just as Gympie began to recover it was once again ravaged by flood-water so, once again, the RRT sprang into action setting up the food stall at the SES Headquarters and serving breakfast, lunch and tea to all in need, with the final meal served being breakfast on the 28th February.
It was a privilege to assist Emergency Services in some small way. Everyone got a buzz from the comments of appreciation which were made, like, “you guys are awesome” and “thanks about six times from the other side of the river” (this comment was relayed over the radio to the SES control room)