A first responder's wife made this post on Facebook.
RIP Sam McPaul.
Hard to find words...
Anyone part of a first responder family always expects the "festive season" to be busy, chaotic, stressful and often tragic.
Death on duty is a quiet fear, but (usually) one rarely realised.
These current fires however are not "usual"- they have unpredictable behaviours - and so for the third time in less than 2 weeks a youn g man loses his life whilst fighting the fires.
His wife facing her absolute worst fears, his unborn child due in May never to meet his dad.
The ripple effect of this is enormous as news spreads throughout our exhausted, grieving first responder community.
Please, if you know any first responders or first responder families, offer a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on- no matter what service or which State.
The New Year's Eve post is just one of dozens revealing the pain people are feeling as fires rage through the ocuntry.
Close to home, on the South Coast, people are losing their homes - their lives.
The region will never be the same again.
The back and forth over whether cities and towns should go ahead with fireworks doesn't even seem worth engaging in as the wild winds whip through Wollongong just hours before the light show was due to go ahead. But cancelled in the 11th hour.
The sound of the winds sends chills through your bones, as footage emerges of exactly what damage those gusts did down south before heading our way.
So this New Year's Eve we pay tribute to every single man, woman and child who've experienced the most horrendous fear.
The men and women who have risked, and some lost, lives, to stop these raging infernos on their paths of destruction.
As we bring in 2020 we say thank you to every single person who has been a hero to someone, shown an act of selflessness during this time of terror.
Thankyou to Sam McPaul. Thankyou to the wives who have lost husbands.
Thankyou to communities that rally together in times of tragedy.