Cobargo bushfire survivor prepared for any disaster
Living in Cobargo during the 2019-20 bushfires, Marty Wraight sadly lost nearly everything.
Friends, his house, possessions and even horses – the bushfires certainly took its toll on the 53-year-old.
Despite this, Marty persevered and put the needs of others first, by helping run the Bermagui Evacuation Centre with other volunteers and emergency services.
“We evacuated over 6,000 people in three days, with no communications outside the town, no electricity, sewerage or running water,” Marty said.
“I bonded with many people and have remained firm friends with them.
“After the fires were out, I was supported by my NSW SES family and many in the local community.”
When asked what drew him to the service, Marty said it was an event some 15 years ago that still lives with him today.
“There was a girl that went missing five doors down from my house in Penrith,” he said.
Without the skills to help find her, he felt useless and decided he would “never be a helpless bystander again”.
Impressed by the SES volunteers’ professionalism, and after a move to the South Coast, Marty joined the Bermagui Unit.
In joining the service, Marty grew passionate about other areas of the service, such as mapping and planning.
But it is a relatively unknown combat responsibility that piqued his interest the most – planning, preparing and responding to tsunamis.