St Columba’s Catholic College and St Thomas Aquinas Primary, Springwood was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Blue Mountains combined emergency services in recognition of assistance provided to emergency services through the evacuation of the school during the bushfire event on the 17 October 2013.
Representatives of all of the Blue Mountains emergency services gave three cheers to all the students of St Columba’s and St Thomas Aquinas, on a special visit to Springwood on 1 May.
The visit was the brain child of Superintendent Local Area Command Daryl Jobson and Senior Constable Michelle Jansco, youth liaison officer of the Blue Mountains Police arranged the spectacular arrival of the Polair helicopter and invited representatives from the Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service, Local Area Command, National Parks & Wildlife, Ambulance Service, Fire and Rescue and State Emergency Services.
The Polair helicopter landed on the Grotto field at St Columba’s to a delighted crowd of 1700 people. All the St Columba’s and St Thomas Aquinas y students and staff, as well as principals and representatives from Winmalee High and Public School and Ellison Public School were present.
Vehicles from all the emergency services were present and the students were able to get up close and ask questions of the emergency personnel.
St Columba’s acting principal, Phil Stewart, said that six months after the bushfires many students were still a little on edge seeing or hearing emergency vehicles.
‘This visit was part of our recovery process to help normalise relations and to move through the trauma,’ said Phil. ‘It was an opportunity to thank the teachers and the kids for the way they behaved and to acknowledge how brave they were.’
‘I was proud that the kids also gave the emergency personnel three cheers to thank them for their work and for coming to visit us,’ he said