A volunteer firefighter was killed near the border of NSW earlier this week after their truck rolled over due to fire-generated winds, according to various news reports.
Two other individuals were also injured in the accident, according to the Daily Mail. The news outlet also noted that the tragic accident brings the count of those killed by bushfire related injuries up to 10 for this season alone.
In addition to the tragic death, a number of other firefighters were injured by the accident, which occurred while the group was fighting off a growing fire in the Green Valley. Reports indicate that the crash was primarily caused by heavy winds.
“A second vehicle working in the same area was also blown over and the firefighter on board has been transported to hospital,” according to a statement provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service. “The Service’s thoughts are with all the firefighter’s families, friends and fellow brigade members.”
The other firefighters involved in the accident were listed as suffering from burns and other serious injuries.
Steps have recently been taken to ensure that any volunteer firefighters assisting with the blazes in NSW will be compensated for their work. According to a report from Yahoo News, Rural Fire Service volunteers are now immediately eligible for a compensation scheme so long as they have spent at least 10 days working on behalf of the department.
“While I know RFS volunteers don’t seek payment for their service, I don’t want to see volunteers or their families unable to pay bills, or struggl[ing] financially as a result of the selfless contribution they are making,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, according to the news outlet. “This is not about paying volunteers. It is about sustaining our volunteer efforts by protecting them from financial loss.”
The scheme allows for volunteer firefighters to make a claim for up to $300 per day, up to a maximum of $6,000 per person, according to the report. It is expected that similar compensation schemes will be opened up in other states across the country as time goes on.
Have you been involved in a car accident that was caused or exacerbated by the ongoing bushfires? Are you a volunteer firefighter looking for assistance in filing a compensation claim for your service? Please contact the compensation lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today, to receive all the assistance you may need in filing your claim.