Toronto Fire and Rescue NSW
24th August 2023
Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie)—The 2019 to 2020 bushfire season was one we will never forget. It was the worst bushfire season on record in New South Wales, unprecedented in its intensity and scale. Over nine catastrophic months fires raged across the state. 26 lives were lost, 2,448 homes were destroyed and 5.5 million hectares of land was burnt. I would like to acknowledge and thank the lifesaving efforts of the Toronto 464 Fire and Rescue Brigade during the Black Summer fires. In particular, I would like to recognise Captain David Parker, Deputy Captain Jason Baker along with firefighters Matt McBride, Cary Hughes, Charles Hardy, Shane Ross, Alex Hardy, Todd Cawley, Paul Puller and Joey Van Lier who all recently received the National Emergency Medal for their heroic deeds during this harrowing time. In an effort to save lives and protect homes and habitat the aforementioned firefighters left their families for up to a week at a time, being deployed to locations such as Wollombi, Branxton, Bulga, Putty, Port Macquarie, Taree, Old Bar, Wauchope and the Central Coast. I thank them for their service during this time and also for the amazing work they do everyday.