Shaun Ashman from Penrith downed tools as a concreter to help victims of the NSW bushfires.
Shaun is an Army Reserve sapper with the Penrith-based 5th Combat Engineer Regiment, which is working in fire affected areas of the Blue Mountains to make the local community safe.
Shaun used a chain-saw to fell trees in fire affected areas in the Blue Mountains that posed hazards to the local community, as part of Operation NSW Bushfire Assist.
“We have been clearing properties of fire damage and hazards such as burnt trees,” he said.
Shaun, 18, said he had no hesitation in answering the call of duty to help the bushfire victims.
“I have been in the Army Reserve for one-year and did not hesitate to volunteer to help people affected by the bushfires,” he said.
Shaun arrived in the Blue Mountains two weeks ago for Operation NSW Bushfire Assist and was scheduled to return home on November 8.
Shaun will return to his job with Bringelly Concrete, where he has been worked for the past two-years, since leaving Nepean High School in 2011.
“We did a good job here and were really well supported by the people in the local community who appreciated our assistance,” he said.
Shaun is one of 90 Reservists involved in Operation NSW Bushfire Assist, which is helping the NSW Government recovery operations to make the immediate bushfire area safe from structural and environmental hazards.
Members of the 5th Combat Engineer Regiment (5 CER) continue the ‘make safe’ program at properties affected by the recent bush fires in the Blue Mountains.
‘Making safe’ entails felling unsafe trees and demolishing ruins of houses so residents can gain access to and enable movement around their properties.
Personnel from 5 CER form part of the Army Engineer Remediation Force (ERF) which has been stood up to assist the Blue Mountains community in its recovery from the recent bush fires in the area.
Comprising Army Reserve members from the 5th Brigade and Australian Regular Army members from the 6th Brigade, the ERF will assess and ‘make safe’ properties and infrastructure damaged in the fires.