Honouring ACT’s emergency services

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council memorial service will today honour the courage and sacrifice of those who have died in the line of duty.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman said the service was a reminder of emergency services critical role and their commitment to keeping our communities safe.

“This memorial service recognises the sacrifices emergency personnel make when protecting life, property and the environment. Our emergency service personnel risk their lives to protect our communities knowing the dangers involved,” Minister Gentleman said.

“This is the first AFAC memorial since the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfire season and we’re acknowledging the six Australian firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“An additional 12 names have been engraved to the Memorial Wall from NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry SA and the NT Fire and Rescue Service.”

Each year, the National Emergency Services Memorial honours the commitment and sacrifice of fire and emergency services personnel from Australia and New Zealand who have died in the line of duty.

An AFAC Memorial Medallion was presented to each family of the 12 fire and emergency services personnel who were commemorated during this event.

ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACTESA) Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the service was a tribute to the 578 families who had lost a loved one and a time for the community to reflect and pay their respects to our emergency services personnel.

“The event marked the first opportunity for our communities since the Black Summer fires to gather at the memorial and pay their respects for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” Commissioner Whelan said.

“Today we remember the devastating losses of six Australian firefighters and three American aerial firefighters during the 2019-20 Black Summer fires.

“The ACTESA recognises that even the most resilient emergency services personnel can be affected by trauma relating to losing a work colleague.

“The ACTESA has a range of support services for frontline workers and their families, including Peer Support Officers, ACTESA chaplains and the Employee Assistance Program readily available to members and their families. We encourage our workforce to reach out at any point if they need assistance.”

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