Chief Officer Greg Nettleton
It is with great sadness that we at the CFS formally acknowledge the death of Andrew Harrison, Lieutenant and active officer of the Mount Templeton Brigade, who lost his life in the Nantawarra fire on Friday October 31.
Andrew responded to the fire which threatened his community, doing so from a Farm Fire Unit while his mates mobilised from CFS stations across the region.
It was during these initial efforts to control the spread of the fire that Andrew fell – and despite the best efforts of CFS crews, SAAS and evacuation to hospital by the State Rescue Helicopter Service, Andrew succumbed to the burns he suffered, during Friday evening.
Andrew's death has been felt deeply across his local community, fellow CFS volunteers across the State – and no less by we here at CFS Headquarters and at Regional offices.
Andrew's death has been made even more distressing with the knowledge that he was a great family man, married to wife Kellie, and a father to two young boys, aged 9 and 10.
As we all come to terms with Andrew's death, we have acted to provide all possible support to Andrew's immediate family, and his extended 'family' – his CFS mates in his local Brigade, the broader Region 2 group, and other CFS volunteers and staff where ever they are.
We provided immediate support to Andrew's family and to local Brigade personnel over the weekend of November 1 and 2, support which has ramped up during this week.
Yesterday I met with Kellie at her home at Mount Templeton, accompanied by CFS Executive Director Ann De Piaz, CFS Volunteers' Association (CFSVA) Executive Director Sonia St Alban and CFS Foundation Executive Elizabeth Davis. At this meeting we offered our condolences to Kellie and her two sons and the condolences of the greater CFS family. During the past few days I have received calls from interstate fire chiefs offering their agency's condolences to the family which I passed on to Kellie.
During the meeting we advised Kellie and her support group of the immediate and long term assistance CFS, CFSVA and CFS Foundation can offer to the family. We will continue to work through Kellie's close friends as she has requested.
CFS has taken a number of calls from CFS volunteers and the general public who wish to make a donation to the family. We are referring all callers to the CFS Foundation. The Foundation has agreed to be the agent to receive donations.
Volunteers of the Mount Templeton Brigade and the Nantawarra Brigade are receiving counselling from the Stress Prevention and Management team as are other members of the CFS Wakefield Plains Group.
Updates will be made as more information becomes available.