Statement by Minister for Emergency Services


I would like to take this opportunity to inform the house about International Firefighters’ Day. Held on 4 May, the day recognises the contributions made by firefighters, including those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, while protecting and saving other people from harm. Here in Western Australia, it is typically marked by a memorial service at the Firefighters’ Memorial Grove in Kings Park. This year, as with many other monumental events, the traditional service could not go ahead and the commemorations moved online.

This year’s commemorations were even more poignant as we recognised those firefighters, aerial firefighting crew members and contractors who tragically lost their lives during Australia’s Black Summer bushfires. The 2019–20 bushfire season was one of the most challenging in Australia’s history. Fire crews faced scenes once thought unimaginable, selflessly stepping forward to help protect their communities. This included hundreds of Western Australians who, thankfully, made it home safely; but, tragically, some of their counterparts did not.

We are eternally thankful for the efforts made by our firefighters to protect our communities, our homes and, most importantly, our lives. We are incredibly fortunate to have more than 22 000 volunteer and career firefighters who serve our state with the greatest skill and dedication. As we continue to deal with the challenging situation of COVID-19, I thank our firefighters for their ongoing dedication to keeping our communities safe. They remain on standby across the state, ready to respond to an emergency. I also want to take the opportunity to thank the families and friends of our firefighters for their support.

This year on 4 May, Matagarup Bridge was lit up to recognise our firefighters and pay our respects to those who have fallen in the line of duty. I am sure that all members of this house will join me in acknowledging the dedication of our firefighters and I look forward to being able to honour them in person next year.