“It’s a day to acknowledge the work of our paid and volunteer firefighters,” says Minister Zollo.

“Stations and brigades throughout the state are also, in one way or another, taking time to pause and remember colleagues throughout the world who have died in the line of duty.”

At any one time, South Australia has around 755 full-time and 237 part-time firefighters employed by the MFS.

“The first recorded death of an MFS Fire Service officer, while on duty, was in 1886, while the last I’m pleased to say was back in 1977,” says the Minister.

“Our Country Fire Service (CFS) has around 15,000 volunteers protecting rural and regional communities throughout the State.

“These volunteers deserve special mention for their dedication in the face of often difficult and dangerous situations and sadly, since 1979, 13 CFS volunteers have lost their lives while fighting fires.

“Last years tragic loss of Trent Murnane, from the Cummins Brigade and Neil Richardson of the Ungarra Brigade on Black Tuesday is still a fresh emotional scar for many.”

The Department for Environment and Heritage also has firefighting crews based around the State.

International Firefighters Day is also know as St Florian’s Day, in honour of the patron saint of all firefighters – and the first known chief of a firefighting squad in the Roman empire.

“State Government’s past and present have strong support for this work and the Rann Government

Commitment to providing a supportive and safe working environment will certainly continue.”

Minister Zollo also urges people to attend this Sunday’s MFS Open Day, between 10am and 4pm.

“This event, held in conjunction with the Australian Professional Firefighters Foundation and the CFS will promote and showcase the work of firefighters within the community.”

Entry is by gold coin donation, with proceeds supporting Burns SA and Burns Prevention.

Source: Government of South Australia, Australia.