Donations Fund Set Up For Families Of Two Firefighters Killed In NSW Fires
The NSW Rural Fire Service has formally set up an account to collect any donations for the families of the two volunteer firefighters killed while on duty on Thursday night.
Deputy Captain of the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade Geoffrey Keaton and Firefighter Andrew O'Dwyer died when their fire truck rolled after hitting a tree near Buxton south-west of Sydney.
Three other firefighters in the truck with them were injured in the crash and are understood to have non-life-threatening injuries.
The crew were on duty at the Green Wattle Creek fireground when the crash occurred.
Keaton, 32, and O'Dwyer, 36, were both young fathers and much-loved by their brigade at Horsley Park.
As tributes flowed for the pair on Friday, hundreds on social media have asked where they can donate money to support the men's families.
The RFS has since set up a dedicated bank account for donations.
"All funds received will be equally distributed between Geoffrey and Andrew's spouses, and tax receipts will be issued to donors," the RFS said in a statement on Friday.
Details of the donations account through the RFS can be found here.
Anyone seeking to donate has also been asked to provide their name.
Tributes began flowing in for the pair on Friday morning after confirmation of their death.
Outside their Horsley Park brigade, two firefighter helmets with Keaton and O'Dwyer's names emblazoned on the back were laid in front of a heart-wrenching plaque for those lost protecting their communities.
Locals have also been leaving flowers and messages near the memorial.
The brigade's Senior Deputy Captain Anthony Ciccaldo also confirmed the deaths of "two of our brothers".
"To our local community and our followers I am blown away by your support and prays in this dark time and the visits to our station to pay your condolences," Ciccaldo said.
"Please share a pray for all that was involved and witnessed the incident and also to those that responded to help I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your efforts."
Firefighters are still battling fierce blazes across the state ahead of predicting catastrophic conditions on Saturday.
In a grim warning to residents on Friday, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers told people to get out early and not to be left in isolated areas.
"We cannot guarantee to get firetrucks to you. We have so much in the landscape we will do our best but we cannot guarantee that,": he said.
"Don't expect a fire truck, don't expect a plane, don't wait for a warning."