Letter: Amazing response in a time of need at South Arm

Photo by Annette Brougham
Photo by Annette Brougham

SOME time after 1pm on Friday, November 8, the fire storm erupted in the top end of South Arm less than 200 metres from my house.

With an incredible roar and with flames engulfing trees it raced up a ridge and within seconds it was behind my house and over 800 metres to the east.

I phoned the RFS Kempsey Fire Control Centre via 000 and reported the fire.

Looking to the east (my only way out) I did not think I had any chance of getting out.

Within what seemed like only minutes after the phone call, a helicopter was hovering over me as I threw my chainsaw in the car to deal with possible fallen trees across the access out. I drove out as fast as I could.

I would very much like to thank all at the fire control centre for the amazingly fast response to my phone call, all the fire crews who responded and the road crew who had cleared South Arm Rd, including a crossing at the burnt out Murrays Bridge, within 24 hours of the fire front passing.

Thanks to all involved in the days since.

I especially would like to thank the brave and skillful helicopter pilot who flew above me and escorted me through the first kilometre of my drive to safety.

My thoughts go out to all my friends and neighbours who have lost their homes.

Geoff Wilson

South Arm