The past 24 hours have been harrowing for many, the loss of life and property has been on a scale never before experienced in Victoria.

Personally I have had a day I would rather forget as my exhusband was severely injured fighting the fire that flared in Ferntree Gully yesterday. Surgery to repair four spinal fractures has taken place today and it is reported he has feeling and movement in all limbs so there is great relief all round.

He has been a CFA volunteer fire fighter for the best part of the last 20 years and has attended many dangerous and devasting fires in that time.  It is hard to reconcile the feeling of helplessness you feel when events like this take place, especially knowing that people of his calibre are out there risking everything for the welfare of others.  The hospital staff are calling him a hero – he’s denying it.  Every one of those men and women out there risking themselves on our behalf are heroes.

This time it was someone I knew who has paid for his selflessness and commitment to his community.  We should all be thankful to them.

This horror is by no means over yet – friends are unaware if they have a home to go to; others are trapped in their homes in Kinglake unable to get away if the fire changes direction and the fires are nowhere near under control.

My thoughts are with those who have lost family and friends.majfireman_gallery__600x391This is one of many pictures taken of the volunteers who risk their lives – many more like this as well as video footage can be viewed on The Age website