GATTON ADVANCED CARE Paramedic, Paul Mudra, returns from assisting with rescue and recovery in Christchurch, New Zealand.
GATTON ADVANCED CARE Paramedic, Paul Mudra, returns from assisting with rescue and recovery in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Paramedic heads to NZ

A GATTON paramedic has given a helping hand to earthquake victims in Christchurch.

Gatton Advanced Care Paramedic and urban search and rescue specialist, Paul Mudra, assisted the recovery effort in Christchurch last month.

“We were called the night of the quake and were dispatched to New Zealand the very next Tuesday,” he said.

“The New South Wales team was first and then they were followed by the Queensland team shortly after.

“Once we were over there, we had the team out quickly.”

Mr Mudra said most of their time was spent at the CTV building.

“The devastation was just everywhere,” he said.

“I had travelled quite a bit and I had been to all those historic sites in Christchurch and it was just terrible to see what they had become.

“Unfortunately I didn't find anyone alive.

“It's part of the job but you always hope that you might be able to save someone,” he said.

With street by street searches filling 12 hour days, Mr Mudra has seen more than his share of destruction.

“We experienced about 20 aftershocks a day, some slight shakes and some barely noticeable if you were walking,” he said.

“One of the things that was very eerie was the walk through the streets to conduct our searches.

“There was nothing but silence and few alarms going off in the distance.”

He said the natural environment had already begun to take over in the absence of residents.

“There was a lot of dust that had risen up through the ground because of the earthquake and it was blowing through the walls and windows of houses that had been abandoned,” he said.

Mr Mudra said talking to some of the locals made his work more personal.

“We weren't able to save everyone, but this is what we trained for and we do our best to save who we can,” he said.


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