We don’t normally write posts like this, but we thought we’d add our voice to the conversation. In doing so we’re going to change our perspective to first person.
Listening to the news all morning only to hear about the tragic deaths of two firefighters who were helping to battle the Green Wattle Creek fire in Buxton. It makes me sad to think these two brave men won’t get to hug their partners and kids ever again.
When the news broke, my heart was in my throat. I have a friend who has two brothers who are firefighters and are battling the same fire. I prayed that one of those who perished wasn’t either of them. The eldest of the two brothers that I know has three young kids of his own.
While I was relieved that it wasn’t them, I couldn’t help but think of the families of these two brave men who died doing something positive for their community. Their kids are going to grow up without their dads and that makes me sad.
The Green Wattle Creek fire has been raging for a while, but it became too real when my home was under threat. I live in the Theresa Park/Orangeville area and I’ve been watching the fire on the RFS app on my phone. Seeing it come so close to where I live, was terrifying. A few of our neighbours left while others stayed behind. My sister was in hysterics because everything she owns is valuable to her and she ended up having a panic attack. She believed the fire was going to destroy her life. Her way of thinking isn’t her fault. Her learning disability makes her think differently to others.
The men who died in the truck crash in Buxton, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer were heroes who put themselves on the line to help others. We as a community feel the loss as our own. A lot of fire stations around New South Wales have their flags flying at half-mast in their honour.
You will never be forgotten, Geoff and Andrew. I’m heartbroken for your families and your friends. If this post reaches the families, know that you have an entire community behind you.