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Local Mechanic Helps Brisbane On The Road To Recovery

By Laura Terrance on February 22, 2011 in News

We all saw and read about the devastation of the Queensland Floods in January. As the situation unfolded, the news continued to get worse. By Wednesday, January 12, the death toll had reached 10 and 90 people were still missing. In addition, Brisbane was preparing itself for record-breaking 4.5 metre flood levels.

While most of us watched from home, Russell Hearne, a self-employed local mobile automotive serviceman (owner of MAS Mobile Automotive Services), decided to close up shop and head to Queensland to lend a helping hand. Friends Nathan Hilleard and Marcus Catt joined Russ as they drove to Brisbane on the Friday night.

When asked what prompted him to make such an effort, Russ was modest in his reply.

“I was just watching it on the news every morning and every night. Me and Nathan work for ourselves so we can sort of move our work around and take a few days off,” said Russ.

Borrowing a truck from Nathan’s uncle, the trio drove to Brisbane’s West End to work alongside several army vehicles.

“We just cleaned. Because we had quite a large truck we just loaded fridges and household stuff onto the truck and dumped them at a makeshift tip.

“There were boxes, photos, videos – everything and anything you’ve got in your home was gone. People basically just emptied their houses out from floor to ceiling and whatever you can think of that is in your house was just dumped in the street,” he said.

Despite the extensive damage and loss of property, it didn’t hinder the people of Brisbane’s generous spirit.

“One guy was trying to give us money for fuel because we were the only ones from Sydney but we said no way. Then he took us into his house. He had a little girl and wife,” explained Russ.

Regardless of how tough conditions were Russ only had positive things to say about his experience.

“The vibe was amazing, just how positive everyone was. There were groups cooking barbecues and supplying beers, water and cakes.”

To sacrifice one’s own time to help desperate people in their hour of need is a truly heroic effort. So here’s to Russ, Nathan and Marcus!