Volunteer Firie Who Told PM To ' Get F***ed' During Fire Crisis Says He's Been Sacked
A volunteer firefighter who told Scott Morrison to "get f***ed from Nelligen" on national television during the bushfire crisis claims he was sacked shortly after footage of the incident went viral.
Speaking to The Project on Sunday, Paul Parker said: “The message I got was about time you brought the truck back because we were about to send the police to go look for you."
However, both the RFS and PM Morrison have denied this is the case, with RFS boss Shane Fitzsimmons saying he wasn't aware of why Parker thought he'd been let go.
Fitzsimmons said the RFS was trying to contact Parker on Monday to speak to him further. The service's Twitter account had earlier posted a statement saying "Paul remains a member of the NSW RFS and has not been dismissed."
Morrison was asked about Parker's claims on Monday morning, and said he was "pleased" to hear the RFS say he hadn't been dismissed.
"There should never be any question whether he should have been fired or not. Of course they shouldn't. But the RFS have confirmed he wasn't. And I'm pleased about that," the PM said.
"Look, to Paul, I say this, I understand Paul was feeling incredibly exhausted, and incredibly drained by those events and he was working his tail off defending his community."
Parker, who appeared on The Project alongside his wife Tanya, said a captain from another brigade within the Batemans Bay had told him he was "finished".
"He said 'you’re finished because of your allegations and foul language against the PM of the country while representing the RFS’," Parker claimed.
“I didn’t know you could get sacked from a volunteer organisation but apparently you can."
Parker was one of many firefighters sent to battle a blaze in Nelligen on the south coast of NSW late last year.
Sitting in his fire truck, he stopped alongside a news camera and said: "Are you from the media? Tell the Prime Minister to go and get f*cked from Nelligen. We really enjoy doing this f*ckhead," he said.
He told The Project that he was annoyed by Morrison's comment that the volunteer fire fighters enjoy doing what they do.
Parker retorted saying they absolutely "do not enjoy doing this kind of stuff".
"Nothing good comes out of parliament, come and look at what these people have gone through. They are seriously affected," he explained.
"It's going to take years for people to get over this... if they get over it at all."
Moments after his passionate spray, Parker fell to the ground in exhaustion and told reporters he and his team had just lost seven homes to the horror blaze -- including severe damage to his own.
A spokesman for NSW RFS has refuted Parker's claims.
"We can confirm Paul remains a member of the NSW RFS and has not been dismissed," he said in a statement.
While his status as a volunteer firefighter may be in question, Parker's comments were clearly appreciated by neighbours and others around the country, who have been sending money to his local pub to buy him a beer.
“Pretty much every day someone comes in and puts their money down, telling us to buy a few beers for that bloke who got stuck into the Prime Minister,” the licensee of Nelligen’s Steampacket Hotel, Joel Alvey told the Sydney Morning Herald.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Parker’s neighbors, who are hoping to gather enough money to help the sacked firefighter rebuild his home.
“Paul hasn’t been able to work, and therefore has not generated an income, due to his volunteering with the Rural Fire Service,” the page reads.
“Please help donate to Paul, so that he can rebuild his own life whilst still protecting the community that he loves.”