Doctor Oncall Medical Locum Agency general manager Nicole Sierakowski presents Gulmarrad Rural Fire Service captain Andrew Paull with a donation of $25,897.18 raised from a percentage of their profits from doctors working in fire-affected areas at the start of the year.
Doctor Oncall Medical Locum Agency general manager Nicole Sierakowski presents Gulmarrad Rural Fire Service captain Andrew Paull with a donation of $25,897.18 raised from a percentage of their profits from doctors working in fire-affected areas at the start of the year.

‘IT’S OVERWHELMING’: Big donation helps brigade do little things

GULMARRAD Rural Fire Service are used to kickstarting their fundraising efforts with a cake-stall or a beer tent.

So when a phone call came offering a $25,897.18 donation, brigade captain Andrew Paull had to pause for a moment.

"It's something that … well it's been overwhelming this season," he said.

"Usually we fundraise from year-to-year, but this allows us to put a five-year plan in place for what we want to do."

The donation came from a local company that helps doctors help others across the country.

General manager for Doctor Oncall Medical Locum Agency Nicole Sierakowski said they wanted to help those that had helped them during the fire.

"We place locum doctors Australia wide, but our biggest area is the Northern Rivers and we wanted to do something because we live here," she said.

"So we decided that any of our doctors that worked in January or February in a fire-affected hospital, we'd provide a percentage of our gross profit."

When a child donates their birthday cake you really get a good idea of community spirit.

Posted by Gulmarrad Rural Fire Brigade on Sunday, 8 September 2019

Ms Sierakowski said their doctors were as far away as Bega, and often had trouble themselves reaching areas that were calling out for medical staff.

While it might not seem like a photocopier could help save a house from fire, Mr Paull said every little bit added up to allowing them to help others.

"There's a lot of misinformation that we have to buy gear, and it's not true," he said. "They give us the best gear and we get everything.

"But when it comes to us spending donations like this, it's additional equipment that boosts our capability.

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"The photocopier allows us to print off maps quickly in an emergency so we don't have to rely on phones, and that little bit helps."

Mr Paull said the money would be used on boosting training capabilities for the station, and could be used to help other smaller brigades with their training program.

"We've had a lot of donations this year, and they're all appreciated, but something like this really is overwhelming," he said.



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