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Care manager moves in to protect his centre

Care Services Community Stories

In January 2020, bushfires ravaged the NSW South Coast. With the largest aged care presence in the region, IRT faced a catastrophic bushfire threat across seven sites. In this series of stories, we celebrate the courage, resilience and leadership of our employees, who kept our centres operating and our residents safe.

20 February 2020
Keith Lierz at IRT Culburra Beach. (Credit: Andy Zakeli)

IRT Culburra Beach Care Manager Keith Lierz spent the weekend prior to New Year’s Eve preparing his own home against the threat of the fire. Then he packed a bag, drove to IRT Culburra Beach and literally moved into the care centre for five days to protect his team and residents. 

Keith Lierz: “I learned a lot very quickly. Nobody could have told me to leave IRT Culburra Beach because whatever was going to happen, I was going to be here. The heroes in the story are the RFS volunteers. I had a meeting with the deputy RFS commander, he told me, ‘don’t worry,’ and I walked out of there terrified. Their courage and commitment is amazing.”

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