Tweed firefighter helps out after Harvey
HE'D only just returned from a holiday in the United States, but one Tweed firefighter has returned within days to help with the Hurricane Harvey cleanup.
Fire and Rescue Tweed Heads station officer Chris Perrin had flown back into Australia on Sunday after a stint in the states.
That night, he received a phone call asking if he would jet off once more to help communities ravaged by the storm.
"I flew in on Sunday (September 17) and on Sunday night there was an expression of interest to see who was available,” he said.
"I said I was happy to come back.”
Mr Perrin left with about 20 other Australians, all part of volunteer-based Team Rubicon, a group originally formed to support ex-military personnel.
His son, Dan, has joined a second group of Australians destined to help out with the recovery effort.
"They do a range of humanitatian work,” Mr Perrin said.
"Originally it was formed over in Amerca... for ex-military.
"This was instigated to give them a sense of belonging and a sense of worth.”
He said other first responders, including a host of firefighters, had since gotten involved.
Mr Perrin was inspired to join the year-old Australian branch when speaking to a Sydney-based Fire and Rescue colleague who helped in the Cyclone Debbie recovery earlier this year.
Speaking from Houston Airport on Wednesday, Mr Perrin said there was still a significant amount of water around the region when they flew in.
But he said much of their work would involve cleaning up in the hurricane's wake.
"The main response, all the swift water rescue, is all gone so it's just the clean up,” he said.
He said water damage would leave many of the region's homes riddled with ongoing issues.
"A lot of the houses are unoccupiable because of the water,” he said.
"There's still a lot of water in the Houston area.”
Mr Perrin said Team Rubicon would be working in Beaumont, Rockport, Magnolia, Friendswood, Harris County, Katy and Wharton.
The group was dispatched to help for 12 days, but Mr Perrin said this could be extended to a month.