Staff, students and parents of Goodwood State School were visited by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to congratulate them on an efficient evacuation during the Goodwood fire.
Firefighters began battling the blaze on Sunday but with the dry conditions causing it to spread quickly, the school and residents were advised to evacuate on Tuesday.
Goodwood State School Principal David Teefy said, while it had been a concerning moment, they followed their emergency response plan and everything went smoothly.
“We received word from the QFES that we were evacuating and within a couple of minutes we already had a police car here helping us out and all the parents were contacted and it was good, very smooth,” Mr Teefy said.
“We can't speak any more highly of what they've done for us over the last couple of days and without them, the school may not still be here, so they did a fantastic job.”
The school was awarded a certificate for its efficient emergency response with the students handing over thank you cards to emergency service representatives.
Goodwood State School Grade 2 student Thea said it felt awesome to be back at school and that having the firies there made her feel safe.
“[The fire] looked really big and it was really black and we had ashes all over our house,” Thea said, adding that she would like to be a volunteer fire fighter one day.
“We are making cards for the firies and talking about volunteers.
“It seems awesome.”
QPS Chief Inspector and District Disaster Coordinator Grant Marcus said the visit was about congratulating the staff and students on an exceptional effort and a job well done.
“It's really exceptionally good work on behalf of both the students and also the staff to evacuate themselves in such a very short space of time,” Chief Inspector Marcus said.
“We had no other choice and they did it very quickly without any hassles at all and they responded so tremendously well.
“Obviously, the fire brigade then worked tirelessly to save the school, which they have done, which is an outstanding effort on their behalf.
“But it's really about saying to the kids and to the staff, well done.
“It's greatly appreciated and certainly made our jobs a lot easier.”
First Officer of Goodwood Road Fire Brigade Richard Greatorex said it had been a big job fighting such an intense and fast-moving fire and acknowledged the hard work of all involved, particularly volunteers.
“It's good for us to see that people appreciate the amount of effort that we put in,” Officer Greatorex said.
“It’s good to see [the students] back at school, good to see them safe.
“When the police officer asked the kids about… whether they’re going to join the firies, I saw a lot of little hands go up which is good for us because we need the fire brigade to keep going into the future and we can’t do that without volunteers.”
QFES has imposed a local fire ban for North Coast Region residents, which includes the Bundaberg Region, from Wednesday 25 October.