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Murraylands firefighters honour one of their own
Members of the Country Fire Service’s Swanport group and Metropolitan Fire Service’s Murray Bridge brigade have honoured the late CFS volunteer Louise Hincks.
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She could have been any one of them.
Country Fire Service and Metropolitan Fire Service firefighters stood to attention on the Pope Road overpass on Monday afternoon, waiting for a hearse carrying one of their own.
Louise Hincks was a senior firefighter with the CFS’ Happy Valley brigade, one of about 180 involved in the fight against a forest fire in the South East.
She died on the fire ground on Friday after being struck by a falling tree.
So they came out on Monday, helmets tucked beneath their arms on the overpass, in silent tribute.
Group Officer Terry Schutz said it was the least they could do to honour Ms Hincks.
“All I can think of is that if one of my good friends died protecting their community, there should be no greater honour,” he said.
“I wish we could do more.
“I don’t believe we honour our military and our emergency services enough for the work they do.”
Still, as cars and trucks raced beneath them, many honked their horns, flashed their lights or waved in support of the firefighters.
The sky was a mournful grey as the hearse passed below, accompanied by a CFS command vehicle and a truck from the Happy Valley brigade.
Ms Hincks, 44, had spent a total of 17 years with the Country Fire Service since 1994, including stints with its Eden Hills brigade and Region One operations.
In a statement, her family said she had been a loving wife, mum, daughter, aunty and sister.
“She spent a lifetime devoted to the community and the Country Fire Service, which she loved,” they said.
“We are devastated at her loss.
“Thank you to the community for their outpouring of love (and) support.”
A friend, Emma-Kate Lindsay, has since started an online fundraiser for the family of the woman she described as “the best person I have ever known”.
“Lou was the backbone to everyone, she was the light to everything, she kept us sane and level-headed and put everything into perspective,” she said.
“I was always so proud and grateful to have Louise as my friend.”
Another firefighter was also injured by the same falling tree, but was expected to make a full recovery.
Firefighters managed to contain the blaze at Coles by Saturday evening.
Donate to Ms Hincks’ family: www.gofundme.com.
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