Springwood Sports Club’s role as an evacuation centre during the 2013 bushfire emergency in the Blue Mountains has led to the club being named as a finalist at the Clubs NSW clubs and community awards.
The club is a finalist in the emergency services category, with the winner announced at an awards dinner on Friday, May 9.
Club chairman Barri Morland said the club was delighted to be nominated for its role during the crisis.
“We were very happy to have the thanks of our community and to know we were able to help them,” Mr Morland said.
“However, it is heartening to be acknowledged in this way, particularly for the staff who were at the forefront in helping all the people who were evacuated to our club.
“It was a huge logistical exercise combined with an emotional rollercoaster and, of course, many staff or their families were themselves in danger of losing their homes.”
Springwood Sports Club became an evacuation centre and a hub for the emergency workers for a week and was not able to trade normally. Management, reception and administration staff had to be organisers, medical assistants and counsellors.
They were inundated with phone calls from distressed people wanting to know if their family and friends were safe.
Staff assisted in settling evacuees, serving food to them, setting up a children’s creche area and dealing with the many and varied pets.
During this time the club provided all meals and drinks for the evacuees and emergency workers, sometimes for up to 300 people at a time. This was a 24-hour operation with many staff staying throughout the night.