Australia Town Mourns Female Firefighter Hit by Fire Truck at Grass Fire
SUNDAY HERALD SUN
A CFA volunteer and mother of three killed on the job was described yesterday by her grieving family, friends and community as a devoted family woman and a hero.
The widespread support and tributes for Rebecca Helwig, 41, were appreciated by her husband, Shane, who spoke briefly about the shock loss.
''We were married 21 years this Thursday,'' he said outside his home at Barnawartha, west of Wodonga.
Mr Helwig said his children, Gary, 20, Blake, 17, and Bo, 14, were struggling to cope with the loss of their mother.
''Blake is turning 18 this Wednesday and Bo is 15 next Sunday,'' he said, shaking his head.
Mrs Helwig was killed when she was hit by a fire truck as she fought a grass fire that may have been deliberately lit on a farm at Barnawartha on Friday afternoon.
The driver of the truck, who has not been publicly identified, spoke about the incident to his crew and was said to be devastated.
Investigations into the accident by the CFA, Victoria Police, Workcover and the Coroner are continuing.
A close family friend of the Helwigs and a fellow CFA volunteer at the Barnawartha CFA station, Geoff Barter, described Mrs Helwig and her family as being passionate about the local brigade.
Mrs Helwig had been a volunteer for 10 years, her sons are members and Mr Helwig is a local lieutenant.
Mr Barter said Mrs Helwig was committed to safe CFA work practices and was a devoted mother who cared for her family in between volunteering with the CFA and working at a supermarket.
''Rebecca was a great family person, there's no doubt about that,'' he said.
Barnawartha resident Serina Spencer said Mrs Helwig was a hero in the eyes of the community and had died selflessly helping others.
She described Mrs Helwig as a woman with a big heart who was a wonderful mother and loved by the community.
''She lived for her kids, she lived for her family,'' she said.
Ms Spencer said the town had been deeply saddened by her death.
''She was a very loved person. The town is in mourning, especially for the kids and Shane,'' she said.
''It will take a long time to get over it. I still think people haven't accepted what has happened.''
May she rest in peace
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Thread: Australia LODD
02-19-2006, 06:01 PM #1
Australia LODDFirefighter, Volunteering since Oct 2001
CCFA 05-04, best overall class for 2005
02-20-2006, 02:07 PM #2
My Prayers are with the Family...Rest in PeaceSteve Dude
London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"
'Irony'... It's a British thing.
02-20-2006, 03:21 PM #3
Very Tragic. Rest in Peace Sister Helwig.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
02-20-2006, 04:05 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
Rest in peace Rebbeca.
02-20-2006, 07:43 PM #5
My condolences to her family. I hope they get the person if it was deliberately lit. Im not sure about victoria but in qld there were laws introduced that means the arsonist will face manslaughter charges as well as arson."There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."
For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.
02-21-2006, 11:59 AM #6
I am amazed that this doesnt happen more often at wildfires, at least at the pump and rool wildfires.
Lots of moving appratus, FFs riding on the outsides of appratus, smoke, confusion, etc...-Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
-Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.
-Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.
-Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.
02-21-2006, 03:56 PM #7
02-21-2006, 04:04 PM #8
Unfortunately the CFA is having a bad run with LODD's at the moment- I beleive this is the 3rd or 4th in as many weeks
Overall they have a very good record of keeping their members safe which is agood effort given the response areas and conditions they're going into...
Country Fire AuthorityLuke
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