'Held him, kissed him': Firey mum first at son's fatal crash
Elle Hall always warned her son if he ever had a serious crash close to home it would be her who had to see it first-hand.
Her fears became reality when she was part of the first auxiliary firefighting crew on scene at a horror crash on Yabba Creek Rd, Imbil last Thursday, which would eventually claim the life of her 21-year-old son Jorn Gilbert-Hall.
Her fellow crew members tried to keep her away from the wreckage.
"I was in the fire truck that was first on scene," she recalled.
"I just said 'it's okay'."
In what she described as "firefighter mode", Ms Hall got the cutting equipment out of the truck and helped her crewmates to peel back the roof of the crumpled Toyota Camry Jorn had been driving when it struck a pole.
Once access had been gained, she hopped in the back seat and held her critically-injured son to support his neck and airways.
"He's my boy, I was grateful to be there and help him," Ms Hall said.
"I am grateful that as a mum and a firefighter I got to support him in those moments and hold him and kiss him."
Jorn's 19-year-old mate, the passenger, suffered minor injuries in the crash which happened about 7.45pm on August 6.
Ms Hall was able to ride with her son in the rescue helicopter to Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, where he passed away the following day, having suffered an "unsurvivable brain injury" in the crash.
"Jorn was generous and kind and all about family, helping anybody he could," Ms Hall said.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back, he'd give you his last five dollars."
That generosity was summed up with the final acts of his short life.
Jorn was a registered organ donor, and his heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancreas were able to save the lives of five others, who underwent successful transplants.
Ms Hall said it was helping her family's grief, to know he'd gone on to help other families.
The Imbil auxiliary firefighter said her Imbil born and raised son had worked in the forestry and loved being outdoors, and had also planned to become an auxiliary firefighter.
The former Noosa District State High School student was studying parks and wildlife courses and was saving a deposit to buy a property of his own near his dad, George Gilbert, at Bollier.
Jorn's sudden death sparked an outpouring of support from the tight-knit community, with more than $8000 raised in just over a day and collection tins set up in town to help the family with funeral costs.
"It is such a relief that we can send him off properly," Ms Hall said.
"Imbil is a very, very special place, a very tight community. I am still blown away by how much has been raised.
"Jorn is so well-loved by everybody."
Jorn's father and brother also arrived on the scene as firefighters were working to free him.
The young outdoorsman was survived by his parents, as well as his older brother, teenage twin brother and sister and youngest brother, as well as girlfriend Karalee Anderson.
Workmate and friend Zac Payne remembered Jorn as a "down to earth, honest, good bloke".
"He would help anyone with anything," Mr Payne said.
Mr Payne said he and another friend witnessed the crash, and had been by Jorn's side at the hospital.
"He was well known by everyone in town," Mr Payne said.
"He was always good to have a laugh and a beer with … and a really hard worker."
Mr Payne said Jorn had excelled as a firefighter in his work with the forestry, and had proven his worth during the most recent, gruelling fire season.
He said his mate would've been happy to know his organs had saved the lives of others.
Another close friend, John Said, said he'd bonded with Jorn over a mutual interest in hunting and goals to one day live off-grid.
"He was just a real good young fella," he said.
"He was just getting started."
Mr Said described Jorn as "an outstanding worker".
"You could actually rely on him," he said.
"He was a top bloke."
Ms Hall said she would miss her son's "amazing smile", and they were now working through details of the funeral.