Sadly, public services have never received the appreciation that they truly deserve. It is only recently, amid the current pandemic, that people have started to praise our National Health Service and all of the incredible people who work tirelessly to look after the people of our nation; when they should be appreciated all of the time. This goes for police officers, social services, carers, support workers and of course firefighters too!
The Australian Bush Fires 2019-2020
As I am sure many of you know, Australia was faced with some of the worst bush fires that they have ever experienced between June 2019 and March 2020. The first fires surfaced in June, with new, out of control fires spreading in September and worsening in November. Firefighters worked day and night, often without breaks, to try and battle the fires and get them under control. These tragic events also brought in many volunteers to help fight the fires without pay and many retired firefighters and some who had been laid off, were also brought back to help control the situation. It is also worth mentioning how amazing the local citizens were during this time, they helped to save animals and helped look after the firefighters during their endless shifts, bringing them food and water.
As of February 2020, approximately 46 million acres (72,000 square miles) of land was burned. This included 80% of the Blue Mountains World Heritage and 53% of Gondwana World Heritage rainforests in Queensland. On top of this, around 3000 homes and businesses were destroyed.
It is believed that 34 people lost their lives as a direct cause of the fires, with an additional 413 people losing their life as a result of smoke inhalation. It is also estimated that over a billion animals were killed in the fires.
Just take a moment to think about the amount of hours, long days and nights that all of these firefighters worked to fight these fires for months on end. Think about the amount of time spent away from their families and loved ones. Think about how much worse the damage could have been without them working day around the clock. Stop and take a moment to just appreciate them and all that they do for complete and utter strangers around them.
Some Interesting Facts!
- The first organised municipal fire brigade in the world was established in Edingborough Scotland and was formed in 1824 by James Braidwood. James became chief at the London Fire Engine Establishment when it was formed in 1833 and sadly passed away in a warehouse fire in 1861.
- Dutch painter, Jan Van Der Heyden developed the first fire hose in 1672 made out of leather and copper fittings.
- The number of deaths that occurred as a result of The Great Fire of London could not be accurately recorded as many of the bodies would have been completely incinerated as temperatures reached 1,250°
- Dalmatians were used as fire dogs, they would run alongside horse drawn fire wagons to protect the horses from other animals and from being spooked. Now they are more like mascots rather than service dogs.