SA Country Fire Service volunteer hurt fighting Victorian bushfires

SA Country Fire Service volunteer hurt fighting Victorian bushfires

25 February 2009

published by

Australia — A CFS volunteer from the state’s Mid-North was seriously injured when he was struck by a falling tree while fighting bushfires in Victoria yesterday.

The 39-year-old man, from CFS Region 4, was injured just before 3pm while helping contain the Murrindindi complex of fires near Alexandra, 60km north-east of Melbourne.

He was taken to the Alexandra Hospital before being airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he was in a serious but stable condition last night.

CFS Region 4 takes in the Flinders, Mid-North and Pastoral areas, including Wilmington, Hawker and Melrose.

He was treated at the scene by CFS colleagues before being transported to the Alexandra Hospital.

The CFS said it understood the volunteer would be flown by helicopter from Alexandra to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

The CFS said it was not in a position to provide any further advice on the firefighter’s injuries.

 CFS Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the man’s family have been advised and no other information would be released at this stage.

“It’s still early yet and our thoughts are with our colleague, his family and his workmates,” Mr Ferguson said.

The accident comes after a ACT firefighter, Davd Balfour, was killed last week when a tree branch fell on him near Marysville while he was connecting a hose to the back of a fire tanker.

Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment State Duty Officer Mark Woodman said falling trees were a serious hazard.

“Twelve years of drought have stressed Victoria’s trees and as a result many die or drop limbs,”  he said.

“When bushfires affect trees they’re often burnt at the base, which makes them likely to fall unpredictably.

“CFA, DSE and agency staff and contractors are briefed about the hazards of falling trees and supplied with safety equipment before entering fire affected areas.”

Falling tree limbs have resulted in one fatality and several injuries this season.

DSE conducts thorough internal investigations into all incidents, in line with its existing safety practices.

“Firefighters are all trained but operate in an unpredictable natural environment.

“Further, if a given situation is dangerous, firefighters are encouraged not to take unnecessary risks.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien