Rural fire fighter Ian Beattie drives through fields of mud near Mundubbera and at home at Wolvi yesterday.
Rural fire fighter Ian Beattie drives through fields of mud near Mundubbera and at home at Wolvi yesterday. Renee Pilcher

Gympie volunteers dodge dysentery outbreak after clean-up

THE Gympie men who were part of a strike team that helped get Mundubbera back on its feet this week dodged the dysentery outbreak that hospitalised four of their 20-strong team.

Gympie Hospital radiographer Rob Vaughan and Wolvi grazier Ian Beattie are just two of the many volunteers from this region who became angels in yellow for many home and business owners here, and in Maryborough and the Burnett, following the Australia Day weekend floods.

The pair spent two days with their Wolvi District brigade and other rural and auxiliary fire brigades, hosing down Gympie buildings and infrastructure before volunteering to join a strike team based at Gayndah.

They returned home on Tuesday after spending five days camped at the Tent City at Gayndah airport. Each morning they drove the 44km to Mundubbera and spent the day clearing out buildings and hosing everything down.

"When we got to Gayndah (via Maryborough and Childers) there was an incident control set up at the fire station allocating resources to where they were needed," Mr Beattie said yesterday.

The Wolvi truck and crew was part of the team that drove out to Mundubbera from Gayndah each day.

Despite taking as many precautions as possible against contaminants in the mud and flood water, four members of that team were hospitalised with dysentery.

Mr Beattie was busy getting some sleep and cleaning down the Wolvi truck yesterday, but said the call could come any day for Mr Vaughan and himself to head out again. When that call came they would be there, he said.

Gympie Times


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