NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and deputy John Barilaro meet the community at Drake who have been battling fires since last week.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and deputy John Barilaro meet the community at Drake who have been battling fires since last week. Marc Stapelberg

Battle weary firefighters thanked for 'god awful' job

IT'S a "god awful" job but the efforts of every firefighters was acknowledged during a visit to Northern NSW firegrounds by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott and NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons yesterday.

The high powered visit by our state's top politicians and senior emergency management officers was a shot in the arm for fireys who've been battling blazes for the best part of a week.

The contingent of top brass arrived via helicopters, landing on the Drake oval behind the village's colourfully named Lunatic Hotel.

After an update on the Long Gully Road Fire situation from deputy Incident Controller Chris Wallbridge, Ms Berejiklian, Mr Barilaro and Mr Elliott met with firefighters.

They happily posed for photos with members of the Drake Fire Brigade as well as those from other crews from the region and beyond.

Ms Berejiklian said was very impressed with the firefighters efforts on the Long Gully Road Fire which has burned over 45,000ha.

She said the work undertaken by firefighters and other emergency services workers in these kinds of incidents cannot be underestimated.

"The messages I am hearing from the public is what wonderful work they are doing," she said.

"The community keeps telling me that each and every fire-fighter is appreciated."

Also at the meeting were representatives from police, SES, Department of Justice, NSW Ambulance and community members.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said he couldn't praise firefighters highly enough.

"It's often difficult, dirty and dangerous work," he said.

"It's often a God-awful job but they is magnificently, I am so proud of them all."

Richmond Police District chief Toby Lindsay said he was proud of his officers who had been on duty through the challenging days and nights when homes burned down and lives were at risk.


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