Members helping communities through bushfire chaos
HSU members aren’t strangers to helping people in difficult, often traumatic situations. For members in health, aged care, ambulance and disability support, it’s our bread and butter. But what happens in extreme situations like the recent catastrophic bushfires that have been assailing NSW?
In chaotic situations such as this, everyone comes together to help. HSU members are there when people are suffering health problems due to smoke inhalation or breathing difficulties. In the midst of crisis, in every emergency department or ward, you’ll find an HSU member working hard to help people recover from illness or injury. It’s what we do.
But it’s also important to remember that HSU members are playing their part in volunteer organisations, like the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service, defending houses and saving lives. HSU members are a vital part of the community, and their service doesn’t stop at the front door of the hospital.
Andy Davis and Geoff Mapstone are two HSU members who know only too well how the recent bushfires have afflicted the community around them. Wardspersons at Lismore Base Hospital, they have also risked life and limb as part of the RFS and SES respectively. And this year has called for their efforts more than any other.
“We’ve never seen anything like it before,” says Andy. “The ferocity of the fires is off the scale.”
“It’s really been an effort to defend houses and properties, putting in long hours. But it’s worth it.”
“Yeah, it does bring the community together,” adds Geoff. “We’ve all got to do our bit to help defend the older people, and those who might be a bit more vulnerable.”