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Firefighter Michael Kidd Farewelled

Dec 22, 2023

Hawkesbury firefighter Michael John Kidd was farewelled by family, friends and colleagues today at a funeral where he was given full honours.

In moving scenes commuters stopped their cars as Michaels coffin draped in the Australian flag  was carried on a fire truck through the streets of Richmond with a police escort. He was followed by colleagues in FRNSW and RFS fire trucks. As they approached St Monica’s Catholic Church in Richmond the FRNSW band joined the guard of honour to lead Michael to the Church where servicemen and women, friends and family were waiting outside.

Inside the church, the congregation heard heartfelt tributes to a man described as a loving husband, doting father, wonderful older brother, and a dependable mate for colleagues. Above all, they learned of a man who would be greatly missed in the days ahead.

FRNSW Commissioner Jeremby Fewtrell who knew Kidd said he gave his life to protect the community and said his family have paid the price for his selfless work.

“The incident last week at Grose Vale was one of thousands of incidents that Michael has attended over his years of service and each had its own danger and risks. And while firefighting can be a dangerous activity, that does not make it ok that we have lost Michael. It is not something that we just accept, we say that Michael has made the ultimate sacrifice,” Commissioner Fewtrell said.

“But we need to make sure this is not a cliche or an empty platitude because it is a sacrifice paid not just by Michael but by his family, his fellow firefighters and friends as we no longer have him.”

Joining Kidd’s family, friends and colleagues in the congregation at St Monica’s Church in Richmond were RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers, NSW Premier Chris Minns and Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib.

The 51-year-old on-call FRNSW firefighter and veteran Rural Fire Service volunteer is survived by his wife of 25 years Rebecca and his two adult children Samantha and Lachlan. In a tribute from Rebecca read by FRNSW chaplain Lindsay Smith, Kidd was remembered as a doting and proud father. He was in recent years passionate about fitness and was a keen runner. “Michael died doing what he loved, helping others and putting others first,” Smith said.

Kidd’s sister’s Belinda and Elizabeth spoke emotionally of their childhood with their older brother. He was, they said “the architect of our most cherished memories.” “As we say farewell to Michael, it’s important we remember the values he cherished: love, family and the importance of staying connected,” Elizabeth said.

Kidd served as an on-call firefighter, attached to Richmond Fire Station, since joining us in 2010. He was awarded a National Emergency Medal and a Premier’s Bushfire Citation for protecting his local community during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. In 2020, he was recognised with a Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. Michael had also been a volunteer member of the RFS since 1989, for which he received a National Medal and a Long Service Medal in 2013.

Michael died on December 12 when attending to a fire at a luxury holiday home at Grose Vale. At the time of the blaze the house was not being rented. Police said he collapsed at the scene when he was struck by what appeared to be a falling beam. Despite immediate CPR efforts by emergency personnel, he could not be revived and succumbed to his injuries on-site.

A police investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

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