True dedication: Pharmacist rides helicopter to work

Clermont Pharmacy pharmacist Grant Oswald chartered a helicopter into town so that residents could still access cital services. PHOTO: Supplied

CLERMONT residents can thank community spirit for their local pharmacy continuing to trade as heavy rains prevented travel throughout the region last week.
Clermont Pharmacy pharmacist Grant Oswald said he caught a helicopter to work so that the store could continue to care for residents while creeks were over.
“Legally we can’t open the doors without a pharmacist here,” he said.
“If [I hadn’t been] dropped in then I’m afraid that the pharmacy wouldn’t have opened until the creek came down.”
Mr Oswald said he awoke on Monday morning to find the creeks surrounding his property had risen dramatically during the night.
“We live five and a half kilometres out of town,” he said.
“[I] walked outside and the creek beside the house was well and truly flowing, well and truly up.
“Went for a bit of a drive and realised we were stuck between Back Creek and Sandy Creek and I thought ‘Oh well, how do we get to work?”
Mr Oswald said he called a friend who had flown him into town during previous heavy rainfall.
“I rang Ben Hutton… but his helicopter was actually in Proserpine getting serviced so he couldn’t help,” he said.
“Then he rang Jamie Bush for me and Jaimie kindly offered to come and grab me and drop me into town so I could open the shop.
“An hour and a half after waking up this helicopter lands on my driveway and drives me to work; it was really cool.”
Mr Oswald said Mr Bush offered his services at no charge.
“I think it was his sense of community.”
Mr Oswald said the region’s sense of community was what attracted him to the area.
“I’m a country kid at heart, I was born and bred in Blackwater; my father had the pharmacy there for 20- odd years,” he said.
“I was in Emerald for 10 years before that, so the area’s home.
“When me moved to Clermont it was always a long-term plan because Clermont’s one of those country towns that I think every kid should grow up in, it has a fantastic sense of community and I think it’s an awesome place for young families to come.”