Firefighters who lost lives in Buxton honoured at memorial

Hero: Andrew O'Dwyer with his daughter Charlotte. Pictures: NSW RFS
Hero: Andrew O'Dwyer with his daughter Charlotte. Pictures: NSW RFS

Horsley Park Rural Fire Service volunteers Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O'Dwyer were two of the eight brave emergency services personnel added to the Emergency Services Volunteer Memorial at a ceremony at Mrs Macquarie's Chair on Sunday.

Mr Keaton, 32, and Mr O'Dwyer, 36, died when a tree fell into the path of their tanker, causing it to roll, as they were travelling in a convoy near Buxton while battling the Green Wattle Creek fire in December.

Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O'Dwyer were added to the memorial.

Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O'Dwyer were added to the memorial.

Police and Emergency Services minister David Elliott said it was important to remember the volunteers who paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting their community.

There are now 102 names on the memorial which recognises volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue NSW and the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association.

"The men and women who volunteer put service above self, often prioritising the safety of their community above their own. Our state owes them all a debt of gratitude," Mr Elliott said.

"NSW tragically lost eight beloved volunteers, Geoffrey Keaton, Andrew O'Dwyer, Samuel McPaul, Colin Burns, Michael Maria, Phillip Bell, Ian Long and Robert Panitz. The whole community mourns with their families.

The memorial at Mrs Macquarie's Chair. There are 90,000 volunteers in NSW who give their time unwaveringly to serve communities right across the state.

The memorial at Mrs Macquarie's Chair. There are 90,000 volunteers in NSW who give their time unwaveringly to serve communities right across the state.

"Whilst we do everything we can to ensure the safety of our emergency services members, tragically, sometimes these men and women do not make it home. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten."

Of the eight names which were added to the memorial, four lost their lives last summer fighting the 'Black Summer' bushfires, while the other four volunteers died as a result of illnesses associated with their work.

There are 90,000 volunteers in NSW who give their time unwaveringly to serve communities.

Wollondilly Council is honouring the firefighters with a firetruck-themed playground at Telopea Park, which is set to open soon.

Mr Keaton and Mr O'Dwyer will also have pavers laid in the Heroes of Fairfield City section of the commemorative pathway at the Fairfield Showground.

These pavers are being placed on the pathway between Deerbush Park and the People's Globe.

The commemorative pathway will consist of more than 500 pavers which recognise people's connections with Fairfield.

This story Firefighters who lost lives in Buxton honoured at memorial first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.