BIG HEART: VIC Truckie’s fire relief run

By: Cobey Bartels


Cahill Transport driver Adrian Richards stepped up recently alongside his wife Linda Morris, to help deliver much-needed supplies to fire-affected Aussies. Owner//Driver sat down with Adrian to find out how he pulled it off in just one week

BIG HEART: VIC Truckie’s fire relief run
Adrian and Linda, loaded up and ready to roll

 

News of rapidly spreading fires across NSW and QLD has filled the airwaves around the nation and for Adrian and Linda, sitting back and watching wasn’t an option.

"We were sitting down watching the news and saw the fires," Adrian explains.

"Linda and her family lost everything in the Ash Wednesday bushfires back in ’83 when she was just a teenager - She sat there crying watching the news and asked me what we can do."

Being a truckie, Adrian was quick to consider pulling together enough supplies for a run in the truck to deliver some aid to the worst hit towns.

"We originally thought about a car load of supplies and I thought, ‘I can do better’, he says.

"I called Cahill Transport who I drive for and they couldn’t say yes quickly enough!"

The rubber hit the road for Adrian and Linda once they’d been given the ‘OK’ to use the one of the Cahill Transport trucks – it was time to hustle together the supplies.

"We got in touch with our suppliers and a couple came to the party with a few pallets," Adrian says.

"From there we ended up doing a few events through the local primary schools, and we ended up with about six pallets from clothes through to general supplies – even toothpaste!

"Some of the staff at Cahill’s also donated, which was good of them -the bits and pieces just came in from everywhere across the week," he says.

It didn’t take long before Adrian and Linda had more than they could sort through, or carry for that matter!

"We ended up with about 20 pallets by the end of that week – then effectively just loaded up the truck and set off Friday night from Cahill’s depot in Laverton, Victoria," Adrian says.

The pair decided on Grafton, because they’d been in touch with the Ulmarra Fire Brigade and discovered that region was hit badly, with many doing it tough.

"We stopped at Cahill’s in Sydney, picked up some more stuff from there and then we went straight to Grafton because we’d heard about a town that got completely wiped out.

"We offloaded all of the pallets at the Grafton Showgrounds – at which point we pretty much had to get going because I had an A-trailer that had to get to Brisbane that day."

The effort didn’t go unnoticed, with locals and fire fighters praising the efforts of Adrian and Linda – as they unloaded at the Showgrounds.

"The firies couldn’t believe what we’d done in a week, they were absolutely stoked," Adrian tells us.

For Linda, helping was the only option and Adrian explains the charity run put her at ease after living the horror of bushfires firsthand.

"As I said, Linda lost it all in Ash Wednesday – She was just so overwhelmed by the response that we all got and to be able to get up there and do something put her at ease a lot," he says.

"She’s at home now still going through donations – I can’t even sit down in the lounge room at the moment because she’s still going through clothes!

"We still have a few pallets left to deliver – which we’ll keep delivering and if need be we’d do it again."

Adrian says it was all made possible by those who donated, as well as the hard working firies in the area who facilitated the drop-off at the Showgrounds.

"The schools and all the staff at Cahill’s really made this possible, as well as the Ulmarra Fire Brigade who allowed us to drop it all off," he says.

"I’d do it again in a heartbeat."

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