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Army SPECIAL LIFTOUT February 3, 2011
Had we not got to her in time, she could've died. This
is exactly the kind of situation we train for.
CPL ROGER GROB -- 9RQR
The big job ahead
Queensland-based soldiers pitch in to help with massive flood relief operations
MANY HANDS: Pte Richard Kerr, A Coy, 9RQR, joins other members of his battalion clearing mud from a major intersection in West End, Brisbane.
Photos by Cpl Janine Fabre
DIRTY BUSINESS: 2CER soldiers remove flood-damaged household goods from the inner
Brisbane suburb of Chelmer.
AB MELANIE SCHINKEL
BLUE skies and receding waters were fol-
lowed by a flood of Enoggera-based soldiers
-- much to the relief of flood-affected Brisbane
and south-east Queensland residents.
The soldiers deployed throughout Brisbane to
assist in the mammoth clean up.
More than 90 soldiers from 9RQR were among
the first to deploy and got to work in West End just
south of the Brisbane River on January 14.
The troops had worked up to 22-hour days
before floodwaters peaked but were tasked to help
Brisbane City Council, Queensland Police and
Emergency Services Queensland to clear mud and
debris from West End streets.
Reserve Response Force OC Maj Ian McNab
said troops had already conducted tasks such as
sandbagging, patrolling and casualty evacuations
but then focused on helping reopen Brisbane's
"It is hard yakka for the soldiers because
there's a lot of putrid mud and rubbish to clean
up off the roads, but they're eager to help any way
they can," he said
"Most of these soldiers live in Brisbane, so
they are trying to juggle their family's welfare as
well as dedicate time to help.
"In fact, they're so eager to assist that, at times,
I have had to physically pull them away from work
to make them rest."
Reserve Response Force Section Commander
Cpl Roger Grob said one of 9RQR's most signifi-
cant efforts to date involved assisting emergency
services with an urgent medical evacuation.
"A lady in her 40s needed to be evacuated from
her home to hospital because she was having trou-
ble breathing and experiencing severe chest pain,"
"We had to use a Unimog to get to her because
she was located in an area that was inaccessible by
"Ten 9RQR personnel assisted in evacuating
her from her home to a flood entry point where the
State Emergency Service picked her up in a boat
and rushed her to hospital.
"Had we not got to her in time, she could've
died. This is exactly the kind of situation that we
Engineers from 2CER and 21 Const Sqn
brought heavy machinery and specialist skills to
clean-up operations in south east Queensland.
Spr Naomi McCutcheon, a 2CER plant opera-
tor, was removing piles of debris with a loader for
several long days.
"I'm just taken aback by the amount of devas-
tation in this area -- it's incredible," she said.
"You just can't really understand until you get
here and see it. I wish I could do more because
there are many other suburbs that need our help.
"It's just soul-destroying to see what these
residents are going through and they're grateful for
BoysTown's Lisa Banyard couldn't believe her
luck when she spotted 1RRAA's Bdr Rob Smith
and Cpl Ashley Boxall walking towards Milton's
flood-damaged Black Street.
On seeing the BoysTown headquarters under-
ground carpark completely filled with water, Bdr
Smith called on about 20 personnel from 1RRAA,
7CSSB, 6RAR and 2CER to help.
"The troops are still a bit shell-shocked by
what they are seeing, but they're hooking into the
jobs they have been given," Bdr Smith said.
"Working hard is what Australian soldiers do
-- they just get in and do the work that's required
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