Emergency services pay tribute

Whittlesea Fire Brigade was one of many brigades across the state to pay tribute to the officers who lost their lives.

By Steph McNicol

FIRE brigades across the state paid tribute last week to the four police officers who lost their lives in a crash on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway last month.

Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney died after being hit by a truck after pulling over an allegedly speeding Porche.

To pay respects to the officers, Country Fire Authority brigades across Victoria gathered together to sound their sirens at 5.40pm on Wednesday.

CFA District 12 operations officer Justin Dally said the event was a tragedy.

“It’s a tragic loss of life, these officers were working to try keep us safe. As CFA we work shoulder to shoulder with police,” he said.

Mr Dally said the sounding of the siren was a way of showing the solidarity of emergency services and the community while they remembered the officers.

“The sirens are quite loud, and you can hear them within a kilometre or two, older country towns could recall that,” he said.

“The sirens show that people are not alone. Help is everywhere, and people can reach out and say they’re not travelling well.

“With so much going on, as an Australian I’m proud of how we’ve responded, and the community collectively is looking after one another and it’s incredible how adaptive everyone has been.”

Gifts and tributes were left at police stations across the state to commemorate the officers and show community support for police during the difficult time.

Senior Constable Heidi Twining of Wallan Police Station said they received bouquets of flowers, balloons, baked goods and chocolates.

“These were being left with messages of support, ‘our hearts are with you’, ‘thank you’, ‘our deepest sympathy is with you’, and ‘thank you for the sacrifices you make so we can be safe’,” Const Twining said.

“We received the cards and flowers from many families within the community and also from other services such as local CFAs, RSLs and local military.”

Whittlesea Fire Brigade 4th Lieutenant Ian Kay gathered with other emergency service officers to commemorate the officers last week.

“The incident has been very deeply felt by all members of the CFA. As emergency service workers, we share a common bond in helping others and serving our communities,” he said.

“The siren sounded four times, one time for each of the four police officers who lost their lives. As emergency service workers we share a common bond in helping others and serving our communities.”