January 23, 2021

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‘Heartfelt, raw’ thank-you notes kept firies going amid crisis

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<p>The Rural Fire Service State Operation Centre is the quietest it's been since July last year, after more than 240 days of flame stretching from border to border.</p>

The Rural Fire Service State Operation Centre is the quietest it's been since July last year, after more than 240 days of flame stretching from border to border.

But Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is still hard at work - though this job is considerably more pleasant.

At headquarters reception, there is barely a free space not lacquered with some of the thousands of thank-you notes that have been sent him from around the word.

The thank-you messages started pouring in as the season turned ugly.

The volume of notes was such that many were photocopied, and tucked into volunteers' food packs on the fire ground.

"Their spirits were lifted ... when they could see these heartfelt comments; these innocent, raw comments about how much they were appreciated," Mr Fitzsimmons said.

A bittersweet touch in many were the hand-drawn pictures accompanying the messages, showing how the images of the fires and the devastation have resonated with children.

Mr Fitzsimmons is currently hard at work replying to the huge deluge of mail, but he said he didn't mind.

"You know our future is in good hands, because these young ones are the leaders of tomorrow, they're the firefighters of tomorrow, the community leaders of tomorrow," he said.

"It's really inspiring, it really is."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/bushfire-crisis-thank-you-messages-to-volunteer-firefighters-uplifting-shane-fitzsimmons-says/6c5eacb4-6456-44e2-b0db-3d1e89ef31c3

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