Fire Fighting Heroes to be Remembered in Memorial Service
It may be considered as the ultimate sacrifice: To give your life to protect your community.
The state's firefighting heroes will be remembered at a memorial service at the Naracoorte South Australian Volunteer Fire Fighters Memorial in April.
Volunteer Fire Fighters Museum Chairman Rex Hall said the occasion will provide time to reflect on those lost in service to the community.
"Fire fighters could otherwise be at home in the comfort of friends and family, but instead they go out and risk their life when a fire threatens a community," Mr Hall said.
"In the blink of an eye, they are out the door on a truck and heading for an inferno all others are trying to escape.
"It’s a great sadness when we lose a fire fighter so it is important we pause to reflect on their sacrifice and never forget the bravery they displayed."
This year's memorial service will focus on the contribution of the South Australian Woods and Forests Department – now known as ForestrySA - today's Volunteer Fire Service.
The first trial forest plantings took place in the state's Mid North more than 140 years ago and much has been contributed to the culture and procedures of firefighting since that time.
A plaque in memory of the eight Woods and Forests fire fighters who lost their lives in the Wandilo Forest Fire, will also be unveiled at the service.
ForestrySA Chief Executive Jerome Coleman said the plaque was a poignant reminder of the men who died in the course of their work on that fateful Saturday, 5 April 1958.
"Almost 60 years on, this tragedy remains in the forefront of the minds of local fire fighters," Mr Coleman said.
"The lessons learned have led to major improvements in fire equipment, training, communications and inter-agency cooperation. Their terrible loss will never be forgotten."
The memorial service and plaque unveiling will be held at the Naracoorte South Australian Volunteers Fire Fighters Memorial from 11am, Saturday 22 April 2017.
Mr Hall urged members of the public to attend, with a special invitation extended to families, friends and colleagues of fire fighters lost in the line of duty.