The Beagle Editor, Local Hero
Batemans Bay went through a crisis on NYE 2019 as the fires ripped through at speed, causing immense devastation.
The emergency crews, worked hard and gave it their all. The RFS and agencies that worked alongside them on the fireground are well and truly deserving Hero’s. There is however another local Hero in all this, Matt Gray, Coles Store Manager in Batemans Bay.
In the thick of the firestorm, Matt stayed by the back loading dock at Coles in the event that there was an urgent need to help out the community.
Not moments after he had helped to provide food supplies to the overwhelmed emergency evacuation centre, than he had an RFS support volunteer turn up at the dock as they needed to source a way to get food supplies to sustain the frontline RFS firefighters. Their regional food arrangements had fallen through, unable to get through the roadblocks.
Matt not only enabled them to stock up on items that would mean that firefighters and other emergency agency crews could keep their energy up to continue their amazing efforts, he carried through continuing to support the RFS for a few days afterwards.
As if this generosity wasn’t enough (bear in mind no where else in town was open, options were severely limited due to the power outages), he noticed on the second day that the RFS volunteer was unable to fit the supplies in her car and without a moments’ hesitation, gave her his car keys so that she could get the supplies back to the Brigade promptly.
“We thank you for the selfless way you assisted us and the community during that period. Showing true leadership and great sense of humanity.” RFS volunteer. Maria Moreta