EDITOR: It's not a 'glamorous' job, but someone's got to do it
WHILE there was plenty of drama at the Orica site yesterday with natural concerns for all staff and nearby residents we should all spare a thought for the unsung heroes.
At the coal face were crews of brave firefighters hosing the affected areas while hardy ambulance officers were not far behind, ready to treat anyone injured in the ammonia spill.
Even our reporter and photographer were in some danger as the smell of ammonia was evident in the vicinity when they arrived.
While many may think being a firey is a glamorous job or a job where they mostly sit back in the station polishing the fire truck, think again.
These crews dashed fearlessly into the fray with the possibility of a very dangerous toxic threat hanging in the air.
They are fully trained for these sorts of situations.
But how many of us face the real prospect of not surviving a day at work. Apart from the unusual, an office worker, teachers, journalists and shop assistants do not have to put their lives on the line in the natural duty of their jobs.
The fireys and ambos do. Fireys risk their lives to put out fires, deal with toxic spills ... and even, pardon the cliche, climb trees to rescue cats.
The ambos attend fatal accidents, put their lives at risk attending people hurt in ice-fueled brawls and more.
And let's not forget those in the State Emergency Service, the armed forces etc. It's not like they get paid a million dollars either and others, like our great St John service, do it for the love of the job and a sense of community. In fact, anyone who puts his or her life on the line in the line of duty deserves our utmost respect and admiration. As we sit behind our desks or counters, these are the people who are looking after our interests and our welfare. We salute you.