Brave volunteers honoured in ceremony

Issued: 9 October 2016

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today paid tribute to the men and women who have died while performing duties as Emergency Services volunteers.

Mr Elliott said the Memorial, at Mrs Macquarie's Point in Sydney, has commemorated volunteers since 2001.

"The Volunteers Memorial pays tribute to those who have lost their lives while protecting others," Mr Elliott said.

"There are more than 88,000 volunteers who make up the NSW Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Volunteer Rescue Association and Marine Rescue NSW.

"Today is an opportunity to recognise all our volunteers for their hard work, courage and commitment and to not only thank them, but thank their families and employers for their continuing support."

Mr Elliott said the Memorial's Roll of Honour, which is the community's tribute to these volunteers, has sadly had another name added to it this year.

"On 26 November 2015, 48-year-old Paul Sanderson, a Deputy Captain of the North Rothbury Rural Fire Brigade tragically lost his life while battling bushfires in the Hunter region," Mr Elliott said.

"The Honour Roll now bears the names of 88 volunteers. They are a poignant reminder of the inherent danger faced by our Emergency Services and evidence that the price of ensuring our community is protected in times of trouble is sometimes very high.

"Volunteers go out of their way to help people caught by natural disasters, be it a bushfire, storm or flood or those who find themselves lost or in accidents.

"Today is an opportunity to honour the sacrifice made by volunteers like Mr Sanderson, who haven't come home."