Media statement


The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) can confirm the death of a volunteer firefighter in the Hunter region.

The male volunteer was working on a fire at Stanford Merthyr near Cessnock when he suffered a suspected heart attack this evening.

Fellow volunteers provided initial medical assistance including the use of an Automated External Defibrillator until ambulance officers arrived. The member was being transported by ambulance to John Hunter Hospital however tragically passed away.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the man’s death is a tragic reminder about the dangers faced by members.

“This is a terrible tragedy, where somebody who has gone to assist the community in its time of need, has paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the member’s family, fellow brigade members, and colleagues.

“We are offering every assistance possible to the volunteer’s family and his colleagues.

“It would be inappropriate for the Service to make any further comment at this stage, while NSW RFS personnel work with Service members and the man’s family.”