Western Australia’s emergency services community honoured firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, at an International Firefighters’ Day commemoration on Sunday May 7.
The service at the Firefighters’ Memorial Grove in Kings Park was open to all current and retired DFES personnel, volunteers and members of the public who wished to pay their respects. For the first time the Department of Parks and Wildlife firefighters took part in the memorial.
During the ceremony DFES Commissioner Wayne Gregson recognised the devotion firefighters have for the community.
“Firefighting is not merely a job or volunteering role, it is a calling, a constant challenge to be accepted, a test of resolve, courage, and strength of body and mind,” he said.
“My gratitude and utmost respect extends also to the partners, families and friends of our firefighters, for your understanding and support makes a world of difference.
“We have been fortunate this last bushfire season to have experienced neither the loss of lives or homes to bushfire and for that I am thankful. However, recent years have been extremely challenging and those losses are still felt deeply, both by many in the community and in emergency services, particularly those who volunteer in their own communities.”
As the names of the fallen were called out in Memorial Grove a brass bell sounded. A final bugle call was followed by a minute of silence as the crowd reflected in silent memory of their loved ones.
Minister for Emergency Services Fran Logan laid a wreath at the end of the service.
“There are more than 24,000 dedicated men and women currently serving in WA’s career and volunteer fire services who put their lives on the line for their communities every day. This service is a chance to pay tribute to those brave individuals whose lives were cut short while serving their community,” Mr Logan said.
Mr Logan said the State Government will continue to support Western Australia’s firefighters to ensure they are as safe as possible.
“The State Government is committed to investing in resources to help all emergency services volunteers and career firefighters who face dangerous conditions as part of their work.”
International Firefighters’ Day was instituted after the deaths of five firefighters during a bushfire in Victoria in December 1999. It is observed each year on 4 May, with the Perth service held on Sunday 7 May.
Memorial services were also held in parts of regional WA, including Bridgetown and Busselton.
Fallen Firefighters' Honour Roll