Two life-sized bronze statues in Kings Park will serve as a reminder of the bravery of WA firefighters.
Premier Colin Barnett today unveiled the statues, modelled on WA firefighters, at the International Firefighters’ Day Memorial Service.
WA has about 1100 career firefighters and 27,000 volunteer firefighters.
Mr Barnett said the statues at the Firefighters’ Memorial Grove in Kings Park paid tribute to firefighters who had protected the community.
“We are extremely grateful to the dedicated firefighters who battle very difficult conditions without hesitation to help people in times of need,” he said.
“As we pay respect to firefighters who have given their lives, it is important to acknowledge the sacrifices that all firefighters and their families continue to make.
“The statues reflect the sorrow felt by firefighters losing a comrade, and are a fitting tribute to the courage and selflessness of the State’s fire service personnel.”
Standing about 180cm tall, the statues are part of an enhancement of the Firefighters’ Memorial Grove in Kings Park that now includes a commemorative curved stone wall and a linking pathway to other monuments.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the State Government was committed to the health and safety of firefighters, and would continue to ensure fire and emergency services were adequately resourced to protect local communities.
“Despite the specialist training and equipment afforded to our State’s firefighters, lives have regrettably been lost,” Mr Francis said.
“Today’s service acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice that has been made, and provides an opportunity for friends and family to commiserate in their loss.”
The Firefighters’ Memorial Grove was dedicated in 2000 to mark 100 years of WA fire services. The artist who created the memorial returned to design the new statues.
International Firefighters’ Day is held on 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.
International Firefighters’ Day is commemorated on May 4 and was instituted after the deaths of five firefighters during a bushfire in Victoria in December 1999