Vale Comrade Phillip Viles

August 6, 2004

In a tragic reminder of the inherent dangers of firefighting, Retained Firefighter Phillip Viles of Budgewoi Brigade was killed in the course of firefighting operations at Doyalson on Monday, 26 July 2004. The officials and members of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union have extended our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our fallen comrade, Phillip Viles.Unfortunately a small minority has misinterpreted our public silence on Phil’s death as disinterest (or worse) on his Union’s part. For the record, the Union never saw this tragedy as a reason or opportunity for the FBEU to grandstand, nor did we consider ourselves at odds with the Department. The Union instead ensured that the Viles family would be looked after with respect to Workers’ Comp and D&D Award entitlements, and I advised Commissioner Mullins that we would be directing all public comment and media calls (of which we received many) to the Department. Not everything in the NSWFB boils down to a case of “us and them”.

Chris Read
State Secretary



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