Thursday, January 11, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The ever-present and commendable Senior Sergeant of Whitsunday Police Station, Sgt Nathan Blain, is sadly leaving the region.
Sgt Blain began his Queensland Police service in 1996 and was one of the first to complete his training at the North Queensland Police Academy in Townsville.
“I was actually on my honeymoon when I received advice that I was accepted. So, Traci and I had six weeks as a married couple before I went off to the academy,” Sgt Blain recalls.
Councillor Jan Clifford, Nathan and Traci Blain, Whitsunday Mayor Julie Hall, and Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox. Photo: Andrew Willcox MP
Ever the one to help, Sgt Blain “Always had a strong interest in pursuing policing career as I wanted a job that was different every day and I liked the idea of being able to do my bit to help others.”
Since completing his academy training, Sgt Blain has always been posted to North Queensland stations, including Townsville and the smaller communities of Bamaga, Middlemount, and Ravenshoe.
Sgt Blain and his wife Traci were initially welcomed to Proserpine over six years ago.
“As a family we were missing the connections you make in country towns, and I was looking for another challenge when I was fortunate to be selected for the position of Officer in Charge Proserpine,” he explained.
“And we moved to Prossy in January 2010. In 2015 I was promoted to Senior Sergeant and transferred to Whitsunday Station as the Officer in Charge.”
During his time in the Whitsundays, Sgt Blain has been an integral asset to the community, a confident responder to emergencies across the region and led the Whitsunday Police with poise and confidence.
“There have been many highlights over the past 14 years. I have worked with some amazing people both inside the QPS and outside, be it other government agencies, community groups or private enterprise. The highlight for me was how our community rallied and rebuilt after Tropical Cyclone Debbie to come back better and stronger,” Sgt Blain said.
Another highlight, which Sgt Blain is humble about, is the 2015 rescue of multiple individuals from a burning building.
A fire had broken out in a restaurant in Airlie Beach and spread to the backpackers accommodation above. Sgt Blain and two other officers were able to successfully locate and rescue a number of individuals from the building, then inundated with thick smoke, however there was an elderly couple unaccounted for.
Sgt Blain and the officers returned to the smoke to rescue the pair, bringing them safely outside, before covering their faces and once again venturing into the building to locate any other individuals.
Sgt Blain and the officer were decorated with bravery awards for their efforts.
Sgt Blain’s new position is Patrol Group Inspector for the Cassowary Coast, based in Innisfail, where he will supervise eight police divisions, from Cardwell to Babinda.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall said it was with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to such a universally respected member of our community.
“On behalf of Council, I would personally like to convey my thanks to Senior Sergeant Nathan Blain as he embarks on a new chapter and express our deepest gratitude for his unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our Whitsundays,” she said.
“Nathan has been more than just a law enforcement officer; he has been a stalwart guardian, a trusted ally, and a pillar of strength for our community.
“As Senior Sergeant Blain embarks on this new journey, I wish him continued success in his future endeavours. Our Whitsundays has been safer and more secure under his watch, and for that, we are grateful.”
“Traci and I will look back on our 14 years here with only fond memories,” Sgt Blain explained.
“We loved being involved in a variety of community groups and activities as well as enjoying the exploring the islands on our jet ski.”
With 14 years of local service, and 27 years of continued policing service, Senior Sergeant Blain has impacted the Whitsunday community profoundly. Photo supplied