Honoured: Senior firefighter Adam Campbell was acknowledged for his search and rescue efforts in Japan following the 2011 tsunami. Picture: Simon BennettMost people flee a natural disaster.
But Macquarie Fields resident and specialised search and rescue senior firefighter Adam Campbell, sprints towards them.
Mr Campbelltown recently received aHumanitarian Overseas Service Medal for his search and rescue efforts in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese tsunami.
Days after returning from Queensland following the devastating floods,Mr Campbell was assigned toa 76-person team bound for Japan.
Days earlier the coast line of the Asian country had been battered by waves up to 10 metres high.
Mr Campbell’s task was torecover the deadbodies, rescuethose who had survivedand scourthrough the immense amount ofdebris .
“It was minus 17 degree weather and we were sleeping in tents, helping people,” he said.
“It was March so we went from (warmer) temperatures here to those conditions over there.
“There were buildings that were 10 storeys high and covered in fishing nets.
“But I’ve said to people before the worstsituations bring out the best in people.
“It’s something that changes you completely when you look how fragile life is and you witness that magnitude of destruction.
“It was a very humbling experience.”
While Mr Campbell was there post-Tsunami, he was constantly aware of the possible dangers.
“Because of the aftershocks, the (possibility of another tsunami) was always in the back of your mind.
“We had to always have an escape route in case a tsunami was coming.”
Still, he has no regrets about putting himself in thesituation, regardless of the dangers.
“It’s what we do –it’s a very specific area of search and rescue,” he said.
“It’s a job and we train as a specialised task force.”
Twenty-five of Mr Campbell’s colleagues also received the medal for their efforts in Japan that year.
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