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17 September, 2021

3 FNQ Everyday Heroes

THREE Cairns frontline workers have been recognised as finalists in the QBank Everyday Heroes Awards.

By Wilma Stevens

Reece Booij, Queensland State Emergency Service Cairns, QBANK Everyday Heroes Award finalist

The awards recognise Queensland’s first responders and frontline workers who have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to making their state a better, safer place.

Award recipients are selected by a panel of seven highly respected judges, based on their established track record of professional commitment and community dedication.

The five category award winners will each receive a $1,000 cash deposit into a QBank account and a $1,000 donated to a charity of their choice.

Cairns Police Inspector Mr Andrew Cowie and Cairns State Emergency Service Local Controller Reece Booij and Leading Field Operations Member Richard Patrick have been nominated.

The SES members were involved in rescuing over a 100 people, including police officers and pets during the Townsville floods in 2019.

The pair have also been previously recognised Queensland Fire Emergency Service Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery Award.

Mr Booij, who is studying to become an aircraft engineer, says he was taken by surprise on receiving a call that he has been recognised as a QBank Everyday Heroes Award finalist.

I was at the airport at aviation college when I received the call.

“I was speechless, it came as a big surprise to me after already receiving a bravery award and to be nominated for this award on top of what we did was a big surprise and a massive honour”.

“We didn’t join the state emergency service for accolades and recognition, when you join the service, it is to help the community, and in times of need you step up when required, so to receive this nomination is an

Mr Booij gives a lot of credit to his fellow local nominee Mr Richard Patrick.

“Without Richard that night during the floods, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did, we had a lot of trust in each other, we had each other’s back, we worked well in unison and supported each other’s actions and decisions”.

The winners of the awards will be announced at an awards ceremony held in Townsville this October 7.

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