Founding member of Goodwood Rural Fire Brigade Richard Greatorex has been crowned the Bundaberg Region's 2022 RFDS Local Hero Award winner for his almost three decades of dedication to his community.
Richard is one of eight regional Local Hero Award winners, announced by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) today.
The annual awards, supported by Ergon Energy Retail, recognise Queenslanders who have donated their time and energy to support their community.
First Officer Richard is a founding member of the Goodwood brigade and has been a volunteer with the service since 1995.
With only one arm, he said he has worked hard to overcome any barriers faced within his time.
“Joining the Rural Fire Service as someone who is physically challenged, you know, it was a (personal) challenge to start with,” Richard said.
“There were a few people that would say, well what use is he going to be?
“You have to go that extra mile, try a bit harder and prove them wrong.”
Richard has saved many lives and properties in Woodgate and surrounding areas.
As the Brigade’s First Officer, he is also responsible for training his local crew to ensure they are well prepared for emergency situations.
“I don't think I feel like I do anything more than any other first officer,” he said.
“It's great to be able to bring people together and train together and achieve stuff.”
Richard a hero in community
Minutes can mean the difference between life and death, so having volunteers like Richard on the ground in small towns is vital, as they are often the first on scene and can provide immediate assistance while they await the arrival of other emergency services.
RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib congratulated Richard on
winning the 2022 RFDS Local Hero Award for the Bundaberg region.
“Often local heroes within our communities are quiet achievers who don’t always recognise themselves as heroes – but they absolutely are,” Ms Staib said.
“From first responders and fundraisers to volunteers, fashion designers and healthcare champions, each of these individuals do amazing work to support their region.
“Some also have their own first-hand experience of the life-saving work of the RFDS, which has personally driven them to give back to their community.
“Supporting Queensland communities is at the heart of the RFDS, and it truly is a team effort, so thank you to all of this year’s winners and nominees for the unwavering support you provide to your communities each and every day.”
Ergon Energy Retail Executive General Manager Ayesha Razzaq said to be able to recognise the selfless dedication of the eight regional RFDS Local Hero Award winners was an honour.
“This is a wonderful way of celebrating the brilliant local people and groups, who through their passion and kindness, make our communities so special,” Ms Razzaq said.
“This is our seventh year as a proud partner of the awards, and each year I am both inspired and humbled by their efforts.
“Each regional winner’s story is showcased in a video package on the Local Hero website.
You can watch these videos and cast your vote for the person or group you would like to see crowned this year’s Queensland Hero.”
To vote for the 2022 RFDS Queensland Hero go to www.rfdslocalhero.com.au.