Volunteer firefighter's infant son receives posthumous medal | Daily News


 

Volunteer firefighter's infant son receives posthumous medal

The Fire Service Commissioner pins a posthumous commendation for bravery and service on volunteer firefighter Geoffrey Keaton's son Harvey Keaton.
The Fire Service Commissioner pins a posthumous commendation for bravery and service on volunteer firefighter Geoffrey Keaton's son Harvey Keaton.

AUSTRALIA: The toddler son of a volunteer firefighter killed battling wildfires in Australia received one of the service’s highest honours on behalf of his father during an emotional funeral on Thursday.

Nineteen-month-old Harvey Keaton stood quietly, sucking on a pacifier, as the fire service commissioner pinned a posthumous commendation for bravery and service to his neatly pressed, oversized Rural Fire Services (RFS) shirt.

Harvey’s father, 32-year-old Geoffrey Keaton, was one of three volunteer firefighters killed in recent weeks. Keaton and a colleague died last month when a burnt tree fell in the path of their fire truck, causing it to roll. The third firefighter died this week in what was described by authorities as a “fire tornado”.

Dozens of firefighters saluted and formed a guard of honour as Keaton’s hearse drove into a Sydney cemetery, according to pictures of the funeral posted online by the fire service.

A mug placed on the coffin had a picture of father and son stick figures and the inscription: “Daddy I love you to the moon and back!”

Another photograph from the funeral showed Harvey being held by his mother, Keaton’s fiance Jess Hayes, as they looked at a portrait of the firefighter atop his coffin.

NSW state Royal Fire Services Commissioner Craig Fitzsimmons, who has been giving daily briefings on the crisis, knelt down to pin the medal on Harvey’s shirt.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has faced some criticism for his response to the fires, also attended. The NSW RFS said on Twitter it had “farewelled one of our own”. - HINDUSTAN TIMES


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