WATCH: Paramedic prepares for return to work post house fire
CONCENTRATING on helping others is how paramedic Suzette Dakin hopes to help herself recover from the trauma of a house fire.
Ms Dakin will have her first day back at work tomorrow since her Black Mountain home was destroyed by fire on August 14.
She was welcomed back by her Maroochydore Ambulance Station colleagues to an Ambulance Week barbecue lunch today.
"It is still tough to walk away with nothing after all of your 47 years," Ms Dakin said.
Mementos from her mother and photos of her children when they were young were examples of things she lost in the fire.
Little milestones like receiving a new stethoscope and paramedic uniform have propelled her journey to recovery.
She and her 11-year-old son Cole as well as her father Barry and his partner Sue have been staying with a family friend since the incident.
"It has not been an easy three weeks.
"Waiting for insurance was probably the hardest (thing)."
Her insurer has agreed to help and will assist them to move into a bigger home while the claim progresses.
Ms Dakin said it could be six to 12 months before everything is finalised.
In the meantime, she wants a return to work routine and stability for her son.
"I think the biggest thing is to take my mind off my own problems.
"I think it will get me in a good head space, helping others."
Support from friends, colleagues, family and strangers has eased the burden of dealing with the tragedy.
"The community has just been so good.
"I can't thank everyone enough for the love and support they have given my family.
"I think I was surprised at the amount of help we got."
Ms Dakin has been a full-time paramedic since 2012 but had been volunteering as a first responder at Imbil since about 2000.
Maroochydore Ambulance Station officer-in-charge Kathrine Amor said her colleagues all wanted to help Ms Dakin.
Donations were taken and they kept in touch to see how Ms Dakin was coping.
"Because it was such and extreme situation that occurred we had people within the ambulance service who did shifts for her.
"Certainly in a time of crisis all of us pull together and look after our own."
Mrs Amor said her colleagues wanted to try to repay a woman who had been very generous with her time.
"Today was just about making her feel loved and welcomed."