Residents of NoosaCare’s aged care home at Carramar in Tewantin are safely home again following a two-night evacuation due to fires burning in the nearby areas.
NoosaCare’s CEO Megan D’Elton said the successful evacuation of 140 people was a tribute to the professionalism and compassion of staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to support residents during the stressful time.
“We received an evacuation direction from Noosa Council late on Friday afternoon because of the fast burning fires in nearby Cooroibah and Tewantin and immediately put in place our plan – a plan that we have thankfully never had to use before,” Mrs D’Elton said.
“I am very proud of the way staff and volunteers went about their duties organising medications, calling families, mobilising transport, comforting residents and preparing for what turned out to be two nights away from home”.
“But I am even more proud of our residents who approached the evacuation with stoicism, resilience and good humour. It was a difficult time and there were frustrations but, on the whole, it was calm and smooth,” Mrs D’Elton said.
The majority of the Carramar residents, including those living with dementia, were re-located to NoosaCare’s second aged care home at Kabara in Cooroy which saw its normal resident population of 85 almost double overnight.
Many of the residents were taken home by families for the weekend although a number of families themselves were affected by the fires. Some residents with higher care needs were taken to local hospitals by the Queensland Ambulance Service.
Queensland Premier Annasticia Palaszczuk popped in for a visit.
“Some of our residents spent the first night of the evacuation at the Noosa Library. We’re very grateful to the Council for providing the library especially for people with our sorts of needs. It wasn’t quite a camping holiday but many of the residents were able to laugh about the experience, particularly during the Premier’s visit”, Mrs D’Elton said.
“We also really appreciated the assistance of Arcare at Perigian Springs which took a number of our residents for the two nights. Their support demonstrates not only the great community spirit that we have in this area but also shows that other aged care facilities – just like ours – are run with compassion and love.”