So many firefighters are doing their best to battle the flames that have been taking over Australia. Sadly, some are sacrificing their lives. Samuel McPaul died on December 30, when the firetruck that he was in flipped onto its roof, thanks to the cyclonic winds that fire crews were facing at New South Wales’ Green Valley fire ground.
Two others in the vehicle suffered injuries, including, in one case, serious ones, but they both survived. Samuel left behind his wife, Megan, who is pregnant. They had recently married, in April 2018, and their first child is due in May.
The #NSWRFS firefighter killed at the Green Valley Fire, east of Albury is Samuel McPaul from the Morven Brigade in the Southern Border Team. Today Service flags will be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.
Our thoughts are with Sam’s family, friends & fellow Brigade members. pic.twitter.com/co28qXK1E6
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 30, 2019
In a release, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) stated that “this is a devastating loss to Samuel’s family and his broader NSW RFS family. Samuel was a young man with his whole future ahead of him. … Megan is now facing parenthood without Samuel. … Our collective hearts are breaking.”
Shane Fitzsimmons, the organization’s commissioner, said at a press conference that the conditions that caused the accident were “truly horrific,” that they had to be to flip a fire truck weighing 10-12 tons. He added that Samuel and Megan’s family members are “completely devastated” by what had happened, as detailed here at ABC News.
Although what Megan is suffering through now is something that she will likely never fully recover from, the RFS is doing what it can to help her momentarily, setting up a dedicated bank account that will be filled with donations to help provide for their child.
Funds are also being raised for a pair of other RFS firefighters, Andrew O’Dwyer and Geoffrey Keaton, who also lost their lives, as reported here in The Daily Mail. Andrew and Geoffrey had been in a truck that had rolled off the road after a tree fell.
To date, 24 people and an estimated billion animals have lost their lives in connection with the fires that have destroyed much of Australia.
Several heartfelt responses were made to NSW RFS’s tweet about Samuel’s tragedy. @justmarco_v2 said, “Just heartbreaking….thank you for your selfless service Samuel. R.I.P. My heart goes out to your loved ones.” @suzip1967 added, “Crying reading this. What an beautiful human being. What a sacrifice. Thank you to all of you who risk your lives to keep others safe. God bless his wife and unborn child. This just breaks my heart #bushfirecrisis.”
Let your friends or family know about the plight of these brave individuals.