Katrina Stone, Field Coordinator Charleville RAFS shares her experiences of her first week with the RAFS team.
“My first week as a RAFS girl in Charleville was rather exciting but not at all what I expected! I started my new role just as the flood waters began to rise across Charleville. On my fifth day we were evacuated to Charleville Show Grounds. On arrival we registered ourselves with the Red Cross and went and sat near the vehicles. I couldn’t sleep, but really who could? So, I went back into the evacuation centre and helped register people until 4am. Finally I got sent to bed at 5am having to wake up again at 6am. Emma Hall and I then put on emergency playgroups for the children at the evacuation centre.
There were about 60 children, of all different cultures, in a shed. Halfway through the day I ended up going to the make-shift hospital clinic at the racecourse because I was dehydrated, exhausted and stressed with a massive migraine. Once out of hospital, my fellow Frontier Services workers were on my case about drinking water; whether it was waking up at 7am to roll over in the back of an old ute with a bottle of water in my face or during the course of the day having bottles brought to me to drink. Although I was in the evacuation centre, I didn’t realise why everyone around me was panicking. I was a bit ignorant, but I quickly understood when I went out on the SES flood boat. Watching the water move so quickly and seeing a house submerged under water, I finally realised this was real. I am proud to say I survived my first week as a RAFS girl and I am more proud to say my fellow Frontier Services workers also helped and contributed to assist Charleville during this very distressing time. This first week was not the slightest bit of what I expected to be doing but I love my new job and the service I work for.”