“In difficult times, people move closer”
thyssenkrupp Elevator Technology donates € 50,000 for exemplary work of voluntary firefighters in Australia
Even for those not impacted by the Australian bush fires, the media coverage showed a dramatic picture. Since September last year, out-of-control bush and grass fires in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and surrounding regions have killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion animals. About 12.35 million acres of land have burned across Australia, according to various media sources. The areas affected by these fires are suffering tremendous economic, emotional and environmental impacts.
It has taken a lot of work by firefighters, emergency services and communities to get to this point. One specific emergency service provider during the bush fires is our colleague Stephen Mamo, NSW Renew Manager and volunteer firefighter at the Regentville Rural Fire Brigade.
Bushfires are part of the ecosystem in Australia, but the 2019-20 season was different, says Stephen: “Australia faces a fire season every summer, but it had already had months of extreme heat and one of the worst droughts on record when this one began. As the firefighting team concentrated on bringing the fires under control. It was extreme. The fires remained for 150 days and the smog was everywhere. I personally received a call in the night and I immediately realized that busy nights lie ahead.” Adam Hurst, President of the Regentville Rural Fire Brigade, further explains the dramatic situation: “Since August 2019, members of our brigade have been actively engaged it what has been the worst bush fire emergency in Australia’s history. Our members have been deployed geographically from South East QLD all the way south to the Victorian Boarder covering a distance of 1,450 kilometers. Regentville RFB have had members deployed operationally for 163 days totaling 11,410 man hours.”
The thyssenkrupp Elevator Australia leadership team around CEO David Husoy and the NSW branch manager Martin Hilder fully supported Stephen’s assignments from day one. All colleagues experienced a dramatic situation and people not directly affected showed strong solidarity. Bringing the catastrophe under control had priority for everybody. Currently most bush and grassfires are now contained and people are slowly returning to their daily routines. However, things changed after this catastrophe, underlines Stephen: “As firefighters, you learn how to switch fast, but we can’t forget that colleagues died during this catastrophe. Due to the rainfalls, the situation is now mainly under control, so we can try to go back to normal.”
As appreciation for this exemplary commitment, thyssenkrupp Elevator donated 50,000 euros to the Regentville Rural Fire Brigade located in the NSW area. Peter Walker, CEO thyssenkrupp Elevator and Australian citizen, comments: “We hope the donation will help in the fight against the forces of nature. Not only the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp Elevator, but all of our colleagues around the globe are deeply impressed and inspired by Stephen’s and the fire brigade’s contributions.” The team of firefighters is more than pleased about this sum, because they are now able to provide even more for the local communities and to ensure the highest standard of firefighting equipment. “Besides the team spirit, the most positive thing during the catastrophe was the feedback of the local communities. The people were extremely thankful and that helped to keep us going. In difficult times, people move closer”, says Stephen.