Sacrificing firefighters for the two young fathers, the Australian prime minister’s current holiday has caused controversy
They are 32-year-old deputy captain Geoffrey Keaton and 36-year-old Andrew O'Dwyer. On Thursday night, a fallen tree caused their firetruck to overturn on a road in southwest Sydney. They were the driver and front passenger of the vehicle, and three other firefighters were injured.
Mr. Keaton joined RFS in 2006. He is the Deputy Chief of the Horsley Park Fire Department in Western Sydney and a former Plumpton firefighter. Mr. O'Dwyer joined in 2003 and is also a member of the Horsley Park Fire Department.
RFS Director Shane Fitzsimmons said that Mr. Keaton and Mr. O'Dwyer were "respected" and came from a "closely connected fire brigade."
"They work together, socialize, and interact very closely. Their respective partners and wives share their friendship and close relationship with the fire brigade."
Director Fitzsimmons revealed that both of them were young fathers, and the young children were born two days apart.
"Geoff has a young son, Harvey, and Andrew has a young daughter, Charlotte. Both of these children were born in May last year, two days apart, so they are only 5 months old, which is terrible."
The fire department has flown half-mast for the two firefighters who died.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said their death was a "great loss" to the community. "This is a huge loss for the fire service. This is a huge loss for the family and loved ones. This is a huge loss for the community in New South Wales," the NSW Premier said at a press conference.
"We know that these men and women and our volunteers are outstanding individuals. Like you and me, they are ordinary people who lead everyday lives. They go out just to serve and protect their communities and bring Change, so they didn’t know when they went out that they might not be able to go home after this mission."
"Every time your loved ones go out to fight a fire, you want them to come back through the front door. Obviously, two families suffered from this situation a week before Christmas. I couldn't think of any better than seeing two young fathers die in this way. The situation is worse. This not only hits their families, but also affects all volunteers."
In a recent post on Facebook and Instgram, Mr. O'Dwyer shared a video of himself using a watering can to fight a fire, jokingly saying: "We decided to save some water."
Prime Minister shortened his vacation to apologize to families of sacrificed firefighters
In a statement today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed "sincere condolences and condolences" to the families of the two firefighters who were killed near Buxton town.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison shortened his vacation and apologized to the family of the firefighter killed in a catastrophic fire outside Sydney last night, declaring that he was "deeply sorry" for any offense caused by his family vacation.
The Prime Minister explained in a statement issued on Friday morning that he had advanced a planned family holiday due to the need to travel to Japan and India in January. He will return to Australia immediately.
"I am deeply sorry for the damage caused to any Australians affected by the terrible forest fires on holiday with my family at this time," Mr Morrison said.
"I have been receiving regular updates on the search and treatment status of the victims of the bushfire disaster and the Isle of Wight tragedy.
"As mentioned above, in view of the recent tragic events, I will arrange to return to Sydney as soon as possible."
"Our hearts are with their relatives, friends and colleagues who work tirelessly around them, especially during Christmas," he said.
Mr. Morrison was criticized this week, with people questioning why he took a vacation during the bushfire disaster. During his vacation, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has served as acting prime minister.
In addition, Mr. Morrison confirmed to 2GB Radio on Friday that he had been on vacation with his family in Hawaii before, but had begun arrangements to return to Australia as soon as possible.
The prime minister said that he understood the reasons for the criticism he had been on vacation during the catastrophic fire, but disputed the country’s lack of leadership during his absence.
"We are in very close contact with what is happening, but I think after the events of last night and those terrible deaths, I think it is appropriate for me to return now."
Scott Morrison. Picture: David Geraghty
Mr. Morrison said that his first task after returning home was to go to the NSW Rural Fire Department headquarters to be notified. "I will go to RFS headquarters to see what other support we can provide, but we know the support and convenience that the federal and state governments are providing."
Mr. Morrison said that although he would not "hold a pipe" to fight the fire on the front line, he would do his best to provide morale support to the affected people. "When I can return and provide morale to those who work hard outside, that is what I can do and I will be very happy to do it."
"I think this time because of such a horrible incident. I understand that it has caused a lot of anxiety. I apologize for that. (Mrs.) Jenny is the same, especially for all people affected by the fire. We are deeply concerned about this. I'm sorry." Mr. Morrison said.
Labour Party leader Anthony Albanese also expressed condolences to the families and friends of the two firefighters who were killed. On Friday, he said on the Today program on Channel XNUMX that the Prime Minister’s decision to take a vacation with his family was an unwelcome distraction and distracted people from the fire.
"I really don't want to talk about Scott Morrison's family vacation. I want to talk about the firefighters and these communities," Mr. Albanese said. "This is the most important thing. Unfortunately, it became a distraction. When he decided to go on vacation. , It's about his judgment."
Mr. Albanese said that he did not understand why the whereabouts of the prime minister had been kept secret. "I just said that they should directly say where he is and when he will come back. That is enough. I care more about the firefighters here, their families and these communities."
Mr. Albanese said that as the fire went out of control, firefighters across the country had shown extraordinary courage, bravery and resilience over the past few months.
"This reminds us of the huge risks people are taking, and in this case (this reminder is) tragedy is the last sacrifice," he told the show, "two people lost their lives."