Archive for January, 2011

That call from Julie yesterday evening could only have been for one reason. Yep, a request to head to Queensland to help out, as State Operations Officer in the Incident Management Team (IMT).

I arrived at the Milton office around 1345 hours today (no AMs or PMs in this operation thanks) and walked straight into the daily phone conference with the operations officers from the different locations around the state where Red Cross is deployed. After that, it was straight into a meeting of the IMT. A welcome from Commander Shanna, a quick briefing from Paul, who I am relieving (thinks “hmmm, he did seem to be in a bit of a hurry to get rid of that lovely red tabard”), and straight into it.

So here I sit at my digs in Spring Hill for the next few days, summarising my thoughts. Firstly there is a great team in place, both in the IMT and out in the field. And back in Melbourne (hi Jules). As usual, for major emergencies, there are people deployed from all around the country. In terms of my peers from Melbourne, there’s Angela, Christine, Graham, Mairead, Mo, Andrew, Rob from an IMT and management perspective, and a wealth of REDiSupport team volunteers. And please, please, don’t shoot me if I’ve forgotten you. It’s been a long day.

So what have been the key issues to be addressed today? I guess the main one is that 14 volunteers on their way back from Emerald, are still, as I type, circling around somewhere up there because Brisbane Airport is closed due to storms. If they don’t get in tonight and need to go back to Emerald or end up going somewhere else, how will we manage that? Note to self – make sure I get a list of after hours numbers for the Logistics and Planning guys tomorrow.

Secondly, there’s a request in for an operations officer, an evacuation centre manager and a recovery centre manager to arrive in Emerald on Friday to relieve the existing people. That needs to be followed up early tomorrow to make sure it’s all happening.

Finally, it looks like St George is about to get very busy over the next few days and we need to make sure Eleanor, who I worked with on the last deployment in Brisbane, and who rocks, gets all the support she needs as the local operations officer.

And I need to cancel my dentist appointment.


P.S. The plane did finally land and yes, we had a few issues to resolve, but we got there in the end. Thanks Team!

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