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Devastated firefighter tears up at suggestions they ‘failed’ to save town

An emotional firefighter says he’s distraught at suggestions the RFS ‘failed’ to save a small town from bushfires.

About 100 buildings are believed to have been lost to bushfires in recent days in NSW, including in the village of Balmoral, southwest of Sydney.

Media reports have suggested the town has been “all but wiped out”, with the NSW Premier stating on Sunday there’s “not much left in the town of Balmoral”.

Firefighter Greg teared up as he spoke to John Stanley about the “horrific conditions” fighting the fire. He says the language used by the Premier and media has a big impact on the morale of firefighters.

“Balmoral has not been wiped off the map. It is not almost gone. It is all still there.

“The suggestion that we failed in defending that village… I don’t know how the other guys take that, but me personally, I’m quite offended at the suggestion that we lost that village because we didn’t.

“I had mates hospitalised.”

Hear Greg’s emotional call below

Local MP Angus Taylor heard Greg’s call and wanted to reassure him Australians are thankful for the sacrifice our firefighters make.

“I’m glad Greg came onto your show and spoke about that, John, because he’s absolutely right. Whilst it has been devastating and tragic, the work that was done by the RFS was absolutely extraordinary. 

“They did extremely good work and we should pay tribute to them.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Local mayor Duncan Gair says he never wants our firefighters to feel unappreciated.

“They’ve done an extraordinary job down there on the weekend.

“Yes, houses were lost but on the other side, houses were saved. 

“I know the pressure that these guys are under, and the responsibility they take. Whatever you do Greg, don’t feel you’ve let your teammates down because you haven’t.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty/Peter Parks