Minister Byrne Acknowledges Efforts of Fire Staff in Australia

  • Fisheries and Land Resources

31 January 2020

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources Minister, is extending congratulations to Fire Training Specialist and Provincial FireSmart Liaison, Joe Russell, who recently arrived back in the province after a 38 day deployment to Australia to provide support and expertise to firefighting colleagues in that country.

While in Australia Mr. Russell served in the position of Logistics Officer and was responsible for managing transportation, meals, and accommodations for all front line and incident support staff, as well as for arranging for equipment and supports to suppress wildfires in parts of New South Wales. During his deployment he was assigned to the Gospers Mountain fire where he worked out of the Lithgow Fire Control Centre of the Rural Fire Service in New South Wales before being re-assigned to the Mudgee Complex of fires where he worked out of the Cudgegong Rural District Fire Control Centre.

Two more firefighting personnel from Newfoundland and Labrador have recently arrived in Australia as part of the latest group of Canadian firefighting specialists deployed to the country. Conservation Officers Darren Jennings of North West River and Matthew Wells of Little Burnt Bay arrived in Australia on January 18 where they have been assigned to the state of Victoria for a 31 day deployment to assist with planning as resource unit and situation unit leaders.

The deployments come at no expense to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as costs associated with salaries, airfare, accommodations and meals are covered through a negotiated agreement between the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and Australian authorities.

“The commitment and sacrifice displayed by Mr. Russell in volunteering to accept this deployment to lend much needed assistance to the people of Australia, particularly during the holiday season, is admirable. I would like to extend congratulations to him as well as to Mr. Wells and Mr. Jennings for their dedicated efforts and for representing the province and country with such pride and professionalism. Their efforts have and will continue to serve the people of Australia very well.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Learn more

Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre

Province Answers Call for Support to Fight Australian Wildfires

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Media contact
Craig Renouf
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6922

2020 01 31 4:05 pm