Ceremony on Sunday a tribute to past and present shire emergency services volunteers

A bushfire which claimed the lives of three volunteer firefighters in 1983 comes close to Grays Point Primary School. Picture: Robert Pearce
A bushfire which claimed the lives of three volunteer firefighters in 1983 comes close to Grays Point Primary School. Picture: Robert Pearce

A ceremony to be held at Sutherland on Sunday will recognise the contribution of all emergency services volunteers in Sutherland Shire and honour those who have lost their lives protecting the community.

Sutherland Shire Council has organised the ceremony, which will start at 11am in Peace Park, next to the entertainment centre.

It is a community event, open to all

Brigade captain Keith Campbell, 51, was one of three volunteer firefighters who died at Grays Point in 1983.

Brigade captain Keith Campbell, 51, was one of three volunteer firefighters who died at Grays Point in 1983.

Since 1977, 11 emergency services volunteers have lost their lives serving the community.

They include five volunteer firefighters who were killed at Waterfall in 1980 and three who died at Grays Point in 1983.

Emergency services whose volunteers will be recognised at the ceremony include the NSW Rural Fire Service, Marine Rescue NSW and NSW State Emergency Service.

SES volunteers at Kurnell after the tornado in December, 2015. Picture: Kirk Gilmour

SES volunteers at Kurnell after the tornado in December, 2015. Picture: Kirk Gilmour

Mayor Carmelo Pesce said there were more than 35,000 emergency services volunteers in the shire.

“[They] work hard to keep residents safe in the most hazardous conditions and situations we face throughout the year,” he said.

Cr Pesce said one recent situation involving large numbers was the aftermath of the tornado, which devastated Kurnell in December, 2015.

Rural Fire Service volunteers at the Father's Day fire at Kurnell. Picture: John Veage

Rural Fire Service volunteers at the Father's Day fire at Kurnell. Picture: John Veage

Rural Fire Service and SES volunteers had swiftly ensured safety, stabilised damaged properties and investigated and neutralised hazardous materials.

“Marine Rescue NSW remain constantly vigilant around our waterways, ready to assist our community at any time should the need arise,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers based at Hungry Point Reserve in Gunnamatta Bay. Picture: John Veage

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers based at Hungry Point Reserve in Gunnamatta Bay. Picture: John Veage

Cr Pesce said the ceremony would not only recognise volunteers’ contributions during emergencies, but also their dedication to training and preparation all year around.