Community spirit is safe in these hands
WHILE most 17-year-olds spent the long weekend socialising and shopping, Lisa Eggins was busy using a chainsaw to cut through the tonnes of debris left by the worst natural disaster in NSW history.
The Coffs Harbour apprentice cabinet-maker was one of 15 local State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers who travelled to the NSW Central Coast to help in the multi-million dollar clean-up of the storm-ravaged region.
The relief group consisted of four emergency services operators from Corindi, one from Urunga, two from Dorrigo, two from Nambucca, and five from the Clarence/Nambucca region.
Half of them arrived at midnight on Friday, while the others got straight on the job after arriving at lunch-time on Saturday.
All have now returned to the Coffs Coast and are back at work.
Lisa followed family tradition and joined the Corindi SES branch on her 16th birthday.
Although she has completed two training courses and helped with storm relief work in Woolgoolga, this was her first taste of the full force of nature.
"My first thought was wow," she said.
"It was really moving being confronted by the absolute devastation that was everywhere.
"I couldn't believe wind and rain could cause this much damage.
"Cars were lying in the middle of the road and trees were down on everything, everywhere."
Lisa said most of the emergency assistance work involved clearing debris from driveways.
"The community spirit and the joy of helping someone in need is a great part of the job," she said.