Community Achiever: Peter Smith
MOURA firefighter Peter Smith is the Central Telegraph's Community Achiever this month.
The auxiliary lieutenant, who also serves as the deputy group leader for the Moura branch of the SES in his spare time, was awarded an Australia Day Achievement Medallion by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services earlier this year, a peer-nominated award that recognises exceptional work "above and beyond the normal course of duty".
Peter, however, is modest about the recognition.
"I was the officer-in-charge for a few particular jobs… and we achieved the outcome that was required," he said.
Peter has served in the fire service since 1999. Originally based at two stations near Tully, he and his wife Caroline moved to Moura in 2002 - after which he took on extra duties with the SES.
"Caroline (was) involved in the SES back up in Tully, and she enjoyed it - but every now and then you need that extra hand,"he said.
"So I'd been helping out, using some of my skill base that I'd learnt in a few years with the firies, but I made it official when we moved down here."
Caroline is now the group leader of the Moura SES, with Peter as her deputy.
Both recall the Theodore floods as the biggest challenge they have had to deal with in their time helping the community.
"We helped them out (at Theodore) on and off, during the start of the floods and then for the recovery, we went down there and helped clean up," said Peter.
"Those people down there had it hard, no power for two weeks I think. No power to a whole town, so everything was just left."
Peter said he hoped his being named the Central Telegraph's Community Achiever would encourage even just one more person to help out with the SES.
"We're always looking for new members. Come out to the shed on a Monday night at 6.30, that's when we do training," he said.
"Everyone likes to feel like you're helping somebody else - that's the main part of it."