Minister Pays Tribute to Emergency Service Volunteers


Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher has today paid tribute to emergency service volunteers who have lost their life while protecting others.

This year marks the 13th Emergency Services Volunteer Memorial Service at Mrs Macquarie's Chair since the dedication of the memorial in 2001.

There are 80-thousand volunteers who make up the:

  • NSW Rural Fire Service
  • NSW State Emergency Service
  • Marine Rescue NSW
  • Volunteer Rescue Association

"Each year we gather here to honour the men and women from all four organisations who, in all kinds of weather and at all times of the day and night, turn out to assist their communities in times of need," Minister Gallacher said.

"When emergencies like bush fires, floods and storms unfold, the men and women from each of our volunteer organisations stand shoulder to shoulder, often putting their own lives at risk, protecting others.

"Thankfully no new names have been added to the memorial in the last year, but the names of all 86 inscribed here are a stark reminder of the inherent dangers associated with the work of our volunteers," Minister Gallacher said.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the deaths of three members of the Heathcote Rural Fire Brigade, Thomas Bielecke, Keith Campbell and Gregory Moon on January 9, 1983 whilst fighting a fire in hot and windy conditions at Grays Point in Sydney's South.

"This year, a special wreath will be laid in their memory, Minister Gallacher said.

"Today we pay tribute to those inscribed on the memorial but we also pause to recognise all our volunteers, many of whom our out in the community today protecting lives and property. Without them this state would be poorer, our communities less resilient and our people more vulnerable to emergency situations," Minister Gallacher said.

Contact Name: State Duty Media Officer

Contact Phone: 02 9898 1855