Community man killed by a falling tree during bushfire battle

FONDLY REMEMBERED: Bill Slade, a Parks Victoria employee of 40 years, was killed while helping fight a bushfire near Omeo on Saturday.

A GLEN Forbes man was killed while helping to fight a bushfire in Victoria’s High Country.

Bill Slade, a husband and father of two, was a Parks Victoria staff member on duty when he was hit and killed by a falling tree at Anglers Rest, near Omeo, while working to contain a fire on Saturday.

Parks Victoria CEO Matthew Jackson said Mr Slade, 60, was a Parks Victoria employee with extensive experience in firefighting, a respected colleague and a well regarded member of the Wonthaggi community.

Mr Slade, who was working with Forest Fire Management Victoria at the time, had recently been presented with recognition for his 40 years of service in land management and fire management at Parks Victoria.

 “A much loved colleague, friend and member of the Wonthaggi community, Bill Slade will be sorely missed by Parks Victoria, and our thoughts are with his family, his wife Carol and children Ethan and Steph, his colleagues within South Gippsland, along with his community at this deeply tragic time,” Mr Jackson said.

“Bill contributed over 40 years to firefighting and caring for national parks in South Gippsland, and I pay tribute to his incredible service in land management and fire management over many years – and acknowledge the profound loss many in the community will be feeling today and in coming days.

“We are committed to supporting our teams in South and East Gippsland at this difficult time and have arranged counselling and additional support to our team members who have been fighting fires and working in incident control centres in East Gippsland over several weeks.”

Leongatha State Emergency Service unit posted on Facebook, “Our thoughts are with Bill’s family, friends and colleagues during this incredibly difficult time.

“As well as with the emergency services members tasked with responding to this confronting incident; one of which is a member of our own unit, currently stationed at Omeo as part of a rapid rescue response crew.

“All emergency service responders affected by this tragic incident will be offered round-the-clock support; whatever may be required.

“Goodbye Bill, and thank you. Your selfless, compassionate nature will be remembered and celebrated at every mention of your name. Rest easy mate.”

CFA chief officer Steve Warrington posted on Twitter, “On behalf of all of us at CFA, we offer our sincere condolences on the tragic passing of @FFMVic firefighter Bill Slade from @ParksVictoria who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while working to keep our communities safe.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.”

Victoria’s emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp tweeted on Twitter, “Another devastating blow to our firefighting community. My deepest sympathies to Bill, his family, friends and colleagues. Take care.”

Mr Jackson said Parks Victoria, as a partner in the firefighting efforts with Forest Fire Management Victoria, was committed to the safety of staff.

“We are doing everything we can to keep our teams safe during this unprecedented fire season,” he said.




Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30645

Posted by on Jan 12 2020. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recently Commented

  • wstaton: I guess it means he will not be able to attend any council meetings saving us ratepayers his claims for...
  • rojo: Awesome work Lynette
  • vbresident: I read Ms Page’s offering and nearly choked laughing. We have a property on the second estate in...
  • brad: Hi Robbie. Would you like your comments to run as a letter to the editor too? If so, we just need your full...
  • robbiemc: The local council should not be wasting ratepayers money to build a rail trail. And more to the point there...