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Malcolm McCarlie - Dog Handler Downs Tools For Fire Victims

Newcastle’s Malcolm McCarlie has switched uniforms as a Corrective Services officer to serve as an Army Reservist as part of the Engineer Remediation Force during Operation NSW Bushfires Assist.

Malcolm is a corporal in the 21st Construction Regiment which has been helping the victims of the bushfires in the Blue Mountains to get their homes in order and their lives back on track.

Malcolm, 43, has been busy driving tractors and bulldozers in the fire affected areas of the Blue Mountains, where more than 200 homes were destroyed by fire in October.

Malcolm has been in the Army Reserve for 22 years as an engineer and had no hesitation in answering the call of duty to help the fire victims.

“I had no hesitation about volunteering to help the victims of the NSW Bushfires,” he said.

When Malcolm isn’t serving in the Army Reserve, he works as a Drug Dog Handler for Corrective Services NSW at Cessnock Prison.

Malcolm said he is looking forward to going home because he knows his search dog, Pippa, a Labrador, is missing him while he is away.

The dual citizen/soldier is one of 80 Reservists involved in Operation NSW Bushfire Assist, which is helping the NSW Government recovery operations through the use of Army engineering and support capabilities to make the immediate bushfire area safe from structural and environmental hazards.

“We arrived on November 2 and are here for another week or so,” he said.

Engineer Remediation Force tasks have involved felling trees, clearing fallen debris and demolishing buildings identified as a safety risk.

The ERF comprises about 80 Army engineers and support staff equipped with dump trucks, bulldozers and front end loaders, chain saw teams, and other remediation capabilities.