Monday, 9 November 2020
Statements by Members
Last week 3 November marked the 40th anniversary of when five volunteers of the Sutherland Shire headquarters bushfire brigade, which had the call signal Heathcote 81, tragically lost their lives while fighting a bushfire at Waterfall along the Uloola Track. The crew of headquarters 81 consisted of 26-year-old Steve Crunkhorn, a deputy captain of headquarters brigade, who was also an electrical engineer residing at Heathcote—Steve was in charge of the crew that day—24-year-old Gregory Rolfe, a banker who lived in Engadine; 21-year-old Vernon Stedman, a wood machinist who lived in Heathcote; 21-year-old William Cummings junior, a gardener who lived in Miranda; and 19-year-old David Marshall, who was also a deputy captain of the headquarters brigade and an electronics technician who also lived in Heathcote. Their loss reminds us of the dangers of the Australian bush. In the Sutherland Shire we have the magnificent bushlands around us, but we need to be reminded of the dangers of it and we need to be ever vigilant. We also pray for their losses. We hope that we have a bushfire season this year without any further tragedies.