News

Heroes share life's lessons

Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb tell how paramedics kept their spirits up.
Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb tell how paramedics kept their spirits up.

FOR two weeks, we stayed glued to television screens as rescue crews did everything they could to save Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb.

On Anzac Day, 2006, the two men entered the mine as ordinary Australians.

Fourteen days later they emerged as celebrities and heroes in the public's eyes. This week, they met up at a public forum in Rockhampton to officially launch CQUniversity's Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree.

"I know in my heart the paramedics kept the (mental) scars out. Those guys kept our minds pieced together. That's why they're my heroes," said Webb.

"They told us the truth so we could never doubt their honesty. They kept it real, and told it like it was.

"They were living this story and it's a tough gig," he said.

Todd Russell said to get through 321 hours of constant fear, they formed a relationship with paramedics on the outside; relationships that have held strong to this day.

He said post traumatic stress affected people differently.

"I was the only one out of hundreds of people who couldn't see something was wrong, until one day I came home and my wife and kids were on the doorstep with their bags packed.

"It doesn't make you any less of a man if you seek psychiatric help. It made my life better and turned my life around with my wife and family," he said.

Brant Webb told the audience one of the reasons the Beaconsfield mine collapsed was lack of communication.

"Communication from the front line guys on the ground, didn't get up to the top of the chain."

It took around 220 people and $40 million to rescue Webb and Russell.

"If the communication had been there, $40 million dollars wouldn't have been spent and Larry Knight would be alive," Webb said.

Both men now work to try to prevent workplace accidents.

"We've got to get the thought into worker's heads … don't cut those corners, you're a long time dead," Webb said.

"We see grown men in the mining industry cry when we talk about family.

"It makes them understand why they need to be safe and go home at the end of the day."



Banana Festival makes a splash

Redland Shire Marching Drum band.

The Tweed Valley Banana Festival was a huge success.

Creating maximum potential in our youth

FUTURE LEADERS: Eight students and their mentors participated in the Max Potential program.

Students show their max potential in the community.

Gas smell concerns ongoing

SMELLY: The odour you can smell at Chinderah is emanating from the Tea tree plantation.

Investigations of the fuel storage systems proved inconclusive.

Latest deals and offers

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

Navy man Keller ready to marry a perfect stranger

Former Navy engineer Keller is a participant in season three of Married At First Sight.

Tattoos are just the surface of Married At First Sight groom.

Callea channels old for new album

Anthony Callea will play Twin Towns on Friday, September 2 as part of his Backbone national tour and album release.

Anthony Callea at Twin Towns.

Ozzy cheated with 5 women in 5 countries: Sharon

Sharon Osbourne claims her husband Ozzy has cheated on her

The Big Music Quiz gives The Block a run for its money

Darren McMullen hosts the TV series The Big Music Quiz.

NEW challenger in TV ratings race shakes up Sunday night.

Britney Spears calls Carpool Karaoke appearance "awkward"

Britney Spears admits her Carpool Karaoke segment was "awkward"

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m