Double life of an SES hero in Far North Queensland
THERE'S Batman, Superman, Spiderman - and then John Forde.
Just like the famed comic strip alter-egos, Mr Forde is a man leading a double life, albeit for a good cause.
In between his managerial role at both Rydges hotels in Cairns, he finds time to douse burning buildings, sandbag flooding homes or help at major accident scenes, as both an auxiliary firefighter and a volunteer with the State Emergency Service.
"I turned up at work one morning and the pager went off to say there was a structure fire on Sheridan St," he said.
"So I told the boss I had to go out for a couple of hours, the guys put my (fire) gear on the truck and I got changed in the street, ran in and fought a fire then came back to work for my afternoon meetings.
"Every day is different and I think that's the excitement of it all."
Queensland will celebrate SES Week next week, paying tribute to volunteers who worked about 60,000 hours in the past year.
Mr Forde is one of about 5700 SES volunteers around Queensland, many of whom will be recognised at regional award ceremonies throughout the week.
He said being being part of the organisation was not about awards though.
"It's great for social interaction, getting additional skills -- both personal and hands-on -- and I think it's a very good environment for people," he said.
Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey will be in Cairns tomorrow to present local awards and launch SES Week which runs until November18.
There are 42 SES branches in the Far North region from Tully to Torres Strait. To get involved contact the Far North region office by calling on 4032 8682 or go to www.emergency.qld.gov.au/ses/
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Super effort: John Forde is an SES volunteer. Picture: MIKE WATT