No lives were lost or any homes destroyed

Awesome job: Exhausted firefighters resting at Garie Beach after helping to contain the Royal National Park fire. Picture: Edwina Illman
Awesome job: Exhausted firefighters resting at Garie Beach after helping to contain the Royal National Park fire. Picture: Edwina Illman

Now that the ash has settled and the Royal National Park has reopened after the recent bushfires, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to those that assisted our district over the last few weeks.

To the Cronulla & National Park Ferry Cruises company who ferried our fire fighters home for free so they could get to the fire station when the roads were closed and gave them all free fares back again to collect their cars in the following days...

To the Maritime Services NSW skipper who likewise delivered myself and three other fire fighters across from Cronulla when we had missed the ferry...

Bundeena Service Station and Bundeena IGA who supplied our every need at short notice to ensure crews had what they needed to enter the fire ground...

Smoke and Soda at Heathcote for the kind and generous offer to  feed fire fighters bacon and egg rolls and coffee for free. I’m not sure if any of our brigade were able to make it out but you made us feel appreciated...

Garie Beach SLSC for opening your clubhouse to allow fire crews to rest in the shade...

To ALL Rural Fire Service volunteers who came from as close as Maianbar and Bundeena to as far afield as Macarthur, Eastern Creek, Ku Ring Gai and Middleton...

And last but certainly not least to our brigade’s own support members who fed a total of 84 meals to our crews in Bundeena day and night over the entire four days, you kept us marching on full and healthy stomachs. This was covered by our fundraising through the year. 

Our brigade are all unpaid volunteers who left work or family functions to turn out shift after shift covering 416 man hours at no cost to the community plus the many more hundreds of hours from all other brigades involved. Special mention also to Engadine Brigade for catering for crews on the run.

Then there were the paid agencies who no less gave up their days off at short notice. NSWFR, Police, NPWS and the road workers who manned the road closures. My sincerest thanks to you all.

No lives were lost or homes destroyed - the greatest outcome of all.

Maxine Hayden

President, Bundeena Rural Fire Brigade

Now the smoke has cleared and the ashes settled we can look back and see how lucky we were. 

Hot, dirty work: Bundeena Volunteer Rural Fire Fighters.

Hot, dirty work: Bundeena Volunteer Rural Fire Fighters.

Lucky that we had experienced emergency services here, lucky that we have had years of being educated about bush fires and being encouraged to have a bush fire plan. 

We were lucky there was little wind and not the normal thousands of weekend day trippers.

Then there was the never ending constant stream of fire trucks that came into the Royal National Park.

The volunteer Rural Fire Brigade from as far away as Macquarie Fields to the local Heathcote Rural Fire Brigade, 10 FRNSW appliances two from Bundeena, and one from Sutherland, Hurstville, Miranda, Concord, Kiama, Thirroul, Redfern and the Duty Commander – all to help Bundeena and Maianbar.

It was reassuring, as well as the Fires Near Me App and the emergency phone call telling us what the situation was and what to do.

Residents appeared to be calm and organised, many checking on elderly residents, and hopefully all activating their Bush Fire Plan. Then watching and waiting.

Cronulla Ferries continuously ran two ferries to evacuate over 1,000 visitors.

Our sincere appreciation to all, the Rural Fire Brigades, Fire & Rescue, the Police, National Parks, and Wildlife, SES, Cronulla Ferries, the people working behind the scenes organising, communicating and providing breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We are lucky to have you.

Suzanne Jones-Prichard 

So proud of our volunteers who worked like a well oiled machine. Congratulations to Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Services, Surf Life Saving, National Parks, Police NSW, Rapid Relief Team and all involved in protecting our shire.  We owe you a great debt, thank you.

​Lee Evans, Heathcote MP

Thanks so much to the awesome firefighters LEGENDS!!!

​Scott Murray 

Way to go to all the firefighters that put their lives at risk.

​Cheryl O'Keefe 

With regard to the fires in the Royal National Park last month.  Something to consider: There are only three roads in and out of the Royal National Park.

The installation of Point to Point Cameras (as used to monitor the trucking industry) could record vehicle movements in and out at those three entry / exit points.

This may go a long way toward stemming or detecting persons entering or exiting the park by vehicle to commit the act of setting fires (perhaps high resolution or facial recognition if cyclists fit the profile).

Also, with the potential to detect vehicles speeding over point to point (if legislated in the future) this installation may assist in curtailing the frequent single vehicle / motorcycle accidents that put all park users and park residents at risk.

David Liu, Jannali


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