The Trauma Lines Blog

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

More from Queensland’s First Responders

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Earlier this month we shared a video about the first responders of the devastating Queensland floods that tore through the north east portion of Australia. The video was about a 13-year-old boy who sacrificed his own life to save his younger brother’s.

We have another story to share about another one of Queensland’s first responders who helped pick up the pieces after the waters subsided:

HELPING people is in Heidi Wallace’s blood. The mother of one and a lieutenant with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service on Coochiemudlo for six years, was one of the first to be sent into the flood disaster zone.

For five days, she worked on a fire truck that drove around decimated Brisbane streets stopping at houses gutted after a river of mud bashed its way through their walls.

“I was amazed at what I saw. There was destroyed furniture and piles of stuff stacked up on the footpath everywhere,” Heidi said.

Our first responders have no choice but to face whatever traumatic events confront them, no matter how difficult, no matter how long their experiences stay with them:

Heidi has lived on Coochie for eight years, near her sister, Elly Van Acker, a first responder with the Queensland Ambulance Service, who also worked in flooded areas in Brisbane Elly went to Indooroopilly and Toowong at night, just hours after the flood rushed through Brisbane.

She saw a man walk into the swirling black waters and not return.

“What I saw is personally very confronting and will be with me for the rest of my life,” Ely said.

“Police moved me on so I never found out the man’s fate,” Elly said. “The trauma people experienced will be with them for a long time,” Elly said.

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Written by traumalines

January 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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