Volunteering is one of the greatest things we do in the Australian community. Australians are well known for being generous to others in difficult times and this is something that we value greatly about this wonderful country. Three Australian volunteer firefighters lost their lives in the last great bushfire. These heroes leave behind young families that are now distraught, in great pain and facing the uncertainty of their future livelihood following the death of their husbands/fathers.
On the evening of Monday 30 December 2019, volunteer firefighter Samuel McPaul, a member of Morven Rural Fire Brigade, was tragically killed while on duty at the Green Valley fireground east of Albury NSW.
Whilst on the fireground, the fire truck that Samuel and crew were operating from was involved in a rollover caused by extreme winds associated with the fire, resulting in the terrible loss of Samuel and non-life-threatening injuries to two other members.
This is a devastating loss to Samuel’s family and his broader NSW RFS family. Samuel was a young man (28 years old) with his whole future ahead of him. He leaves behind a loving wife, Megan, who is pregnant with their first child, due in May. The young couple were in the midst of preparations to welcome their baby and Megan is now facing parenthood without Samuel.
On the evening of Thursday 19 December 2019, two volunteer firefighters were tragically killed while on duty at the Green Wattle Creek fireground, near Buxton in south-western Sydney.
The fire truck they were travelling in was struck by a tree, causing the vehicle to leave the road and overturn.
- Firefighter Geoffrey Keaton (32 years old) joined the Service in 2006 and is a Deputy Captain of Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade, and a former member of Plumpton Brigade.
- Firefighter Andrew O’Dwyer (36 years old) joined the Service in 2003 and is a member of the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade.
Both Geoffrey and Andrew leave behind loving partners and very young children.
This is another confronting reality of the ever-present dangers faced by our firefighters, who give so much to protect property and lives, and our collective hearts are breaking.
The blueVisions and Institute of Management team across Australia, Indonesia and the UAE raised a total of $5,632.26 for the 3 families. This money has been paid to the families of Samuel McPaul, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer, the three firefighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice in fighting the fires.
You can read more about the fatalities and make your contribution here