Constable Gary Lee, Sergeant Mark Flynn and Senior Sergeant Mark Sweetman who were all awarded Queensland Police Bravery Medals.
Constable Gary Lee, Sergeant Mark Flynn and Senior Sergeant Mark Sweetman who were all awarded Queensland Police Bravery Medals. Rainee Shepperson

Medals for officers who saved man during TC Debbie

DODGING fallen power lines and roofs flying off houses, two police officers drove Fred Quod to hospital after "a wall of bricks" came down on him during Cyclone Debbie.

The officers were awarded Queensland Police Bravery Medals at a ceremony in Mackay yesterday.

Sergeant Mark Flynn and Constable Gary Lee said they were extremely humbled to be recognised for what they considered to be "just doing their job".

The pair rescued severely injured Proserpine resident Fred Quod during Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. The officers put themselves at serious risk to save the man who had been crushed under debris.

"We were called to the incident by the officer in charge at Proserpine Ambulance Station, Gavin Cousens," Constable Lee said.

"We rushed to the site of the house where the man was lying on the kitchen floor.

"He was cold to touch and had lost a significant amount of blood from the gash on his arm.

"He was slow to respond but awake.

"We put the man on a stretcher and drove him to the hospital in the ambulance.

"There were fallen power lines everywhere and roofs flying off houses."


Fred Quod - 100 days since Cyclone Debbie
Fred Quod - 100 days since Cyclone Debbie

Mr Quod was looking out a window at the rear of his home when a roof was blown off a nearby house. The piece of corrugated iron was blown into the brick wall of Mr Quod's house which caused the wall to collapse on top of him.

Mr Quod said he was checking windows around the house when the incident happened.

"I moved into the bathroom and that was it, the impact hit me," he said.

"I was unconscious quite quickly."

Sergeant Mark Flynn said his training kicked in when he first saw Mr Quod on the floor.

"I don't really know what goes through your mind at the time, I think all of your training just kicks in," he said.

"You don't really think about it at the time but it's award ceremonies like this where you reflect on what happened."

Constable Lee agreed that he wasn't thinking about himself when he was called to the job, his focus was solely on helping the man.

"The man needed our help and we were focused on getting the job done," he said.

Sergeant Flynn has been serving the Mackay region for the past 17 years and has been in the police force for 20. Constable Lee became a police officer only four years ago after a trade background. He moved to Mackay from the Gold Coast two years ago.

Another Queensland Police Bravery Medal was awarded to Senior Sergeant Mark Sweetman for his work helping to evacuate several residents from their homes during Cyclone Debbie.

"I'm very proud to receive this award, I wasn't expecting it," he said.

"Police do brave things every day and I witness brave acts all the time, it comes with the job. I'm just so proud to be acknowledged."

Senior Sergeant Sweetman has been a police officer for nearly 30 years and said it was something he always wanted to do from a young age.