The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security formally opened the National Emergency Service Memorial Wall in Canberra on Tuesday 1 May 2018, at the National Memorial Service for fire and emergency service personnel.
The new wall lists the names of 505 personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty in Australia and New Zealand since records began. The wall was a joint funding initiative of the Australian Government and AFAC, the National Council for fire and emergency services in Australia and New Zealand.
The new wall honours the sacrifice that these people have made and provides a place of national significance, where family, friends and colleagues can reflect in a more personal way. AFAC has created a new webpage with information on the wall and a search function to view the names that have been inscribed.
“How we honour and recognise those who have died while on duty serving their community is a reflection on how we respect our current workforce,” said AFAC CEO Stuart Ellis.
“The addition of a memorial wall to the National Emergency Service Memorial provides a national, permanent place of recognition those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Over 300 people attended the memorial service where AFAC memorial medallions were presented to families of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This year, the commemorations recognised personnel from NSW Rural Fire Service; Country Fire Authority; Airservices Australia; Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria; and Forestry South Australia.
“These people had families. They had friends. They were part of firefighting teams and crews who treated them just like brothers or sisters. All who knew them carry their memory, and although we are proud of what they did, we are deeply saddened by their death” said Chief Executive of Fire and Emergency New Zealand Rhys Jones.
“Commemorating their loss is a constant reminder to us all to do what we can to ensure everyone’s safety, to learn from lessons and never slacken in our efforts to safely manage the risks that we face in the work that we do.”
The National Emergency Services Memorial is in Kings Park on the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.
Further information on the new memorial wall is available at www.afac.com.au/memorial