Mayor Andrew Willcox, QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles, Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick and Officer in Charge of the Proserpine Ambulance Station Gavin Cousens hand Peta Smail a QAS mascot after her partner was injured during Cyclone Debbie.
Mayor Andrew Willcox, QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles, Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick and Officer in Charge of the Proserpine Ambulance Station Gavin Cousens hand Peta Smail a QAS mascot after her partner was injured during Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

Heroic stories emerge during ministerial visit to Proserpine

THE Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick paid a glowing tribute to the staff of the Proserpine Hospital and the Queensland Ambulance Service during a visit to Proserpine today.

Mr Dick during an engagement in the hospital's grounds commended the effort of all staff for the sterling job they did treating and transporting patients during what many locals are calling the worst cyclone to ever hit Proserpine.

Director of Nursing at the Proserpine Hospital Nicloa Young accepts a gift during a visit by Health Minister Cameron Dick.
Director of Nursing at the Proserpine Hospital Nicloa Young accepts a gift during a visit by Health Minister Cameron Dick. Peter Carruthers

Officer in Charge of the Proserpine Ambulance Station Gavin Cousens got a special mention from the minister who praised his courage when attending to a seriously hurt man who had a wall fall on him.

"As soon as the eye came - but it wasn't much of an eye and the storm was affectively still raging - Gavin went out and rescued a man who was gravely ill and bough him back to this hospital and together you saved his life,” Minister Dick told the staff gathered at the hospital.

"Gavin didn't stop.”

Mr Dick, together with Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner Russell Bowles, mayor Andrew Willcox and Mr Cousens then visited the partner of the man rescued by the QAS last Tuesday.

Officer in Charge of the Proserpine Ambulance Station Gavin Cousens was highly commended by his state counterparts during Cyclone Debbie.
Officer in Charge of the Proserpine Ambulance Station Gavin Cousens was highly commended by his state counterparts during Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

Peta Smail gave the delegation a tour and explained how her partner Fred Quod was hit by flying debris while in the bathroom of their Ruge St house.

Ms Smail said Fred was still in Townsville Hospital on the mend after breaking his collar bone, suffering sever lacerations to the arm, breaking ribs and having a collapsed lung.

Ms Smail said he was lucky to be alive and also praised the efforts of the Proserpine QAS team.

"Fred and I cant thank the emergency services enough,” she said.

Peta Smail of Ruge St receives a visit form Health Minister Cameron Dick after her partner was injured during Cyclone Debbie.
Peta Smail of Ruge St receives a visit form Health Minister Cameron Dick after her partner was injured during Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

"We spent three hours on the phone with them, giving us medical direction and keeping us calm until the ambulance officers and the police turned up in the middle of the cyclone risking their own lives to come and help us,” Ms Smail said.


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