Soldiers help with flood cleanup

Five soldiers from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australia Regiment (5RAR) helped staff at a Brisbane aged care facility clean up after flooding caused by heavy rain over the weekend.

LEGEND: Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment help clean up a nursing home in Brisbane. Account by Lieutenant Geoff Long. Photo taken by first crew member John Solomon.

The soldiers from 5RAR are part of the ADF support to the aged care sector and were carrying out general duties at a facility in North Brisbane.

Marefre Crouch, head of administration at the care facility, said the presence of the 5RAR contingent helped the center quickly return to normal after the extreme weather event.

“The boys went straight to work to help prepare for the flooding, and now they’ve been helping to evacuate water that has entered the residents’ activity area,” Ms Crouch said.

“We could see that they weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.”

Corporal Tyrique Faamausili said the team was able to help prepare the facility before the floods by clearing the drains and putting in sandbags.

Having got to know the residents in the days leading up to the flood, Cpl Faamausili said it had been rewarding to be part of the cleanup effort.

“We’ve only been here a week, but it’s been an experience I’ve really enjoyed. We didn’t know what to expect, but the residents are great and they loved interacting with us and chatting with us,” he said.

Rhonnie Tant, who is part of the center’s lifestyle department, said having the ADF on hand was helpful on a number of fronts.

“Residents love their activity area, so having help clearing the water gets them back right away,” Ms Tant said.

“They’ve also been locked down during COVID, so having new faces to interact with has been nice. The residents are really interested in their origins and discover their family history.

Up to 1,700 ADF staff across Australia are available to provide support to the aged care sector following a request from Emergency Management Australia.






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