North Coast firefighters hit by tragedy

Published: 2nd September 2010

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Commissioner Greg Mullins today expressed his deepest sympathy to firefighters, their families and the community following two road accident fatalities - one involving a fire officer and the other a family member of a fire officer.

The accidents occurred yesterday within hours of each other on the Pacific Highway on the state's Mid North Coast, at Valla and Woolgoolga.

"Our firefighters respond to a wide range of emergencies and often deal with difficult and tragic circumstances, but it is every firefighter's worst nightmare to arrive at an accident to discover it involves a family member, friend or colleague. But this is exactly what firefighters from Nambucca Heads and Woolgoolga were faced with yesterday," Commissioner Mullins said.
When the fire and rescue crew from Nambucca Heads arrived at the horrific Valla crash, they soon realised that one of their own fire officer colleagues had been fatally injured and was still trapped in his car. Just hours later, fire and rescue officers from Woolgoolga fire station responded to a serious road crash. As they approached the scene firefighters realised the car involved belonged to daughter of another officer, and it was quickly confirmed that she too had been fatally injured.

"Our sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with the fire officers, their families and the communities in which they live at this difficult time."

Commissioner Mullins said a range of counselling and support services are being provided to affected firefighters and their families.