The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys are recognising the invaluable contribution of emergency services personnel and volunteers at Saturday's Cowboys v Bulldogs home game – we're proud to profile some of these dedicated individuals on cowboys.com.au.
Cowboys Gold Star (full-season) member Peter Tompkins will be one of many emergency service volunteers recognised at Saturday’s Round 6 home game, proudly representing the State Emergency Service.
Born-and-bred in Townsville, Peter has supported the Cowboys since their inception in 1995, and says he’s only missed a handful of games.
“The only games I miss are if I’m out on deployment somewhere or if one of my kids is getting married ... and that’s about it,” Peter said.
A high school teacher of over 30 years, Peter joined the SES after finishing a decade-long appointment as a Scout leader and thought he’d try his hand at something new.
“After watching all the devastation following Yasi and the tornadoes (2011), I saw lots of people in orange actually doing something and I wanted to help them,” Peter said.
“I’m an industrial arts teacher and I’ve used those skills so it’s a good match.”
In the seven years since he joined the SES, Peter has been deployed to various natural disasters across the state.
“I’ve spent five days in Rockhampton, five days in Proserpine, five days up in Cairns.
“Most of the things we do are a lot of land searching, which can actually be pretty tough, and storm damage – like tarping roofs and chain sawing and operating the flood boat.”
While he might miss seeing his beloved Cowboys during his emergency response deployments, he says the community spirit shown by fellow North Queenslanders is what inspires him most.
Last year after Tropical Cyclone Debbie down in Proserpine, you’d be working all day and at the end of the day you go to the shops to get a drink or dinner, and the person in front of you would pay for your stuff – they’re pretty hard work (away trips), but they’re pretty rewarding, especially when people do things like that to recognise your contribution.
Thanks to our emergency heroes of the north, who work tirelessly to keep us safe!