Emergency workers given once-in-a-lifetime reward
A TRIP on one of the world's most renowned cruiseliners is a far cry from the muddy floodwaters of the Lockyer Valley.
But as a special thank-you to emergency service workers across the region for their efforts during the 2013 floods, a select few will be given this rare opportunity as they walk the decks of the Queen Mary II.
Gatton SES volunteer Brian Brookes is just one of the lucky few who will embark on the trip of a lifetime this week as he packs his bags to hit the high seas.
Mr Brookes was randomly selected out of a barrel to represent the Lockyer Valley on the cruise ship's journey to Sydney.
"I'm not just representing me. I'm representing the Lockyer valley as a whole," he said.
"I'm very excited. I've never been on a cruiseliner before."
Mr Brookes said he was shocked to receive the phone call from Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) regional director Bob Bundy.
"It's a very big deal. How many people in this world would have this opportunity to go on something like that?" he said.
"I was quite shocked about it, and I was a bit lost for words on the phone for a couple minutes."
Joining the SES after the 2011 floods, Mr Brookes said he was proud to be a volunteer.
"I wasn't expecting anything out of it. It's what we do - go out and help others," he said.
"I like helping people out and giving back to the community."