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Fire Commissioner pays tribute to fallen fire officer

Published: 15th June 2006

Commissioner Greg Mullins has paid tribute to Station Officer Stephen Richardson who died in a traffic accident at Glenfield while responding to an emergency.

Speaking on behalf of the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB), Commissioner Mullins said: "We are devastated by the loss of Station Officer Richardson, and our thoughts are with his wife, son, family and many friends at this time."

While responding to an emergency just after 9.30 am on Wednesday, 14 June, the crew from Macquarie Fields Fire Station was involved in an accident which resulted in the death of Station Officer Stephen Richardson and injuries to the four other firefighters onboard.

Firefighter Stephen Brown, Firefighter Dean Wellfare, Firefighter David Keierleber and Retained Firefighter Peter Wilkins were all transported to hospital.

Firefighter Dean Wellfare was released from hospital on Wednesday night, while the other firefighters remain in hospital in a stable condition.

NSWFB firefighters from Liverpool Rescue, Horningsea Park, Busby, personnel from the Ambulance Service and NSW Police attended the scene. The cause of the accident is being investigated by Police.

"SO Richardson had a long and distinguished career with the NSWFB, having joined in 1987," Commissioner Mullins said.

"Among his credits was a Unit Commendation for Meritorious Service for taking part in the rescue of Stuart Diver at Thredbo.

"During his career, he served at a number of Sydney fire stations including Lidcombe, Liverpool and Macquarie Fields. He also worked as a Fire Safety Officer, inspecting buildings to ensure they complied with fire safety requirements.

"He was promoted to Station Officer in September 2004, and was transferred to Liverpool Fire Station as a relieving officer, leading firefighters and commanding emergency operations across south western Sydney.

"Station Officer Richardson will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues in the NSW Fire Brigades," Commissioner Mullins said.

The NSWFB has implemented a staff and family support program to help them through this difficult time.