Saving lives is top priority for rescue helicopter pilot
"ME being flooded was not more important than trying to save lives."
While his Moore Park Beach home was threatened by flood water this week, AGL Action Rescue pilot Peter Potroz's concern was only for the safety of the more than 30 people he helped pluck from the roofs of flooded homes.
Conditions were tough for the Bundaberg crew, who performed tricky rescues in "absolutely diabolical" conditions.
And their efforts have not gone unnoticed, particularly by elderly couple Keith and Mary Bell who were winched from their Pacific Haven home, near Hervey Bay, on Sunday.
"The call came through from the daughter saying she was quite concerned because her father had come out of hospital the day before," he said.
"He only had a limited supply of oxygen."
Mr Potroz said when the crewman was winched down to the home, he was greeted by 1m-deep water lapping the bed where the 67-year-old man was lying, still trying to breathe through his oxygen machine.
"He would have died - he had enough oxygen for a full day and that was all," he said.
"I've dealt with a lot of stuff before - it never gets any easier," Mr Potroz said.
"It's more emotional for the people we're putting onboard."
The Bells' son, Steve, said his parents were in debt to the chopper rescue team.
"They're bloody heroes - I tell you that," he said.
"If they weren't there, it would have been game over for mum and dad."