Former RFS Volunteer Paul Parker To Start His Own Brigade, Will 'Never Regret' Morrison Comments
Volunteer firefighter Paul Parker is "devastated" by the reaction of the NSW Rural Fire Service and says he will no longer volunteer in its brigades.
On Monday, Parker joined The Project after the RFS denied the firefighter had been sacked over comments he made on camera about Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Parker had appeared on the show the previous night claiming he had been told he was no longer welcome by the volunteer organisation while battling fires on the NSW south coast.
The morning after Parker's interview on The Sunday Project, the NSW RFS denied the volunteer firefighter had been dismissed.
"The NSW RFS is aware of reports concerning the status of volunteer member Paul Parker from the Nelligen area," it said in a statement.
"We can confirm Paul remains a member of the NSW RFS and has not been dismissed."
Both the RFS and Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons have said they had been trying to contact Parker.
Speaking from a local pub in Nelligen, Parker told The Project on Monday he had not heard "a single thing" from the NSW RFS after his appearance on the show.
"Not today. I checked my phone just 10 minutes ago," he said.
"I've had 39 phone calls today, most of them from other media, but nothing from the RFS."
Parker said he no longer wants to be a part of the RFS after being told he was "finished" with the organisation because of the comments he made about Morrison.
"After what happened to me on that day? No, it broke my heart," he said.
"You know, I was doing everything I possibly could do to protect my community and to be told that, it devastated me."
Parker says he will now work with his local community in Nelligen to build their own brigade to "get away from all the red tape and bureaucracy".
"The fires are out and I want to move on with the rest of my life, and I want to move on with building our own local brigade with 30 or 40 local people around the area that are very keen to get it up and running so we can look after ourselves," he said.
On Monday, Morrison denied he said firefighters enjoyed the fight against fires, and instead meant firefighters had to be convinced to take a break from battling the blazes.
But Parker is not convinced by Morrison's clarification, and said the prime minister's apology "meant nothing" to him.
"Well they are just words, aren't they?" he said.
"He has probably sat down with one of his advisors all day to write that down."
As for the comments Parker made which began this saga, he said stands by them.
"Don't regret what I said, never will," he said.
"He's (Morrison) welcome to come down and have a chat and Shane (Fitzsimmons), if you want to come with him you are more than welcome too, mate.
"Nelligen, you know where I am."