Memorial opened for fallen NSW RFS firefighter Samuel McPaul


A memorial and Avenue of Honour has been opened to commemorate NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) firefighter Samuel (Sam) McPaul, who was tragically killed during the 2019-20 fire season.

On December 30 2019, Sam was part of the firefighting contingent battling the Green Valley Talmalmo blaze in Jingellic, near the NSW-Victoria border, when fierce winds from the fire overturned the fire truck he was travelling in with two other NSW RFS members. Sam was tragically killed that day.

NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers, together with the Greater Hume Council and the McPaul family, gathered today (Saturday 12 March) to unveil the memorial and a two-kilometre section of River Road that follows the Murray River as an Avenue of Honour to Sam.

The stretch of road, which passes the site where Sam was killed fighting the Green Valley Talmalmo fire, is lined with 100 pin oak trees and includes a wayside stop and shelter with information about Sam and the impact of the fire.

NSW RFS Commissioner Rogers said it was a fitting tribute for Sam, who was not just a dedicated firefighter, but also a generous, loyal and creative person, and a talented basketball player.

“The 2019-20 fire season was like nothing we had seen before and it was firefighters, like Sam, who rose to the challenge to battle these blazes to keep the community safe,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“As Commissioner of the Service, it is always devastating to lose one of our members in the line of duty. Sam’s loss has had a profound impact on his brigade and the greater NSW RFS community.

“This memorial will be a testament to Samuel’s bravery, and the community’s gratitude to our dedicated volunteers.”

Greater Hume Council Mayor Tony Quinn said the council and community at large wanted to establish this memorial to commemorate Sam and his ultimate sacrifice.

“This memorial is the culmination of a significant project and the result of a community-led response, following the devastating Green Valley fire that sadly took the life of Sam McPaul,” Cr Quinn said.

“The idea to create a memorial and the rest stop came during the early months after the fire was extinguished. First proposed by a NSW RFS volunteer, it was embraced immediately by Jingellic Rural Fire Brigade members, who together brought the idea to Council.

“On behalf of the Greater Hume Council, we sincerely hope that this memorial to Sam will provide comfort to his family and loved ones.”

Contact Name: State Duty Media Officer

Contact Phone: (02) 9898 1855