Story telling from Australia
In a week when nineteen fire fighters died battling wild fires in Arizona I want to tell you about a woman I met yesterday, right here in Broken Hill.
Vivien Thomson was Incident Controller in the Australian bush fires that swept through parts of Canberra and the ACT in 2003. She spent over 25 years as a rural fire fighter and she was presented with the Australian Fire Service medal in 2004. You’d pass her in the street and never know.
Vivien has just published a book – Ashes of the Firefighters – that documents the harrowing physical and emotional journeys of nine firefighters. All of them have experienced a major bushfire event.
Living in Australia, where bush fires are commonplace, we rely on such people to keep us safe from harm when fire threatens. They are often unpaid volunteers, and they risk their lives every time they get called out.
The tragic events of this week show just how dangerous that job can be.