A heartbreaking viral image shows an Australian volunteer firefighter catching up on his sleep in a front garden after battling bushfires for 10 days in a row.
The eye-opening photo was shared on Facebook by Jenna O’Keeffe, the daughter of the exhausted firefighter.
O’Keeffe is from Conjola in New South Wales, a state where dozens of bushfires are currently destroying land, homes and lives. Though firefighters are working tirelessly to tackle the blazes, high temperatures and wind continue to fuel the flames, making them extremely difficult to control.
In the image, which was shared on social media, the unnamed firefighter can be seen lying on the ground in his full uniform. O’Keeffe explained her dad was getting just five minutes of sleep when she snapped the photo, during which time her brother kept an eye on a fire which was burning at the top of the family’s farm.
The Facebook post explained that, despite being a volunteer, Jenna’s dedicated father had worked more than 12 hours a day for 10 consecutive days in an attempt to tackle the flames.
My family have been fighting these fires on our farm and our community nonstop for over a month. They are tired, they are sore, and they are running out of resources.
Take a look at the image here:
O’Keeffe went on to share a heartbreaking comment from her dad, describing how he ‘cried’ to her that he’d ‘never seen anything like this’, and commenting the fires were ‘never ending’.
The Facebook user went on to point out it is the middle of summer in Australia, meaning there is much more hot weather to come. She begged readers to focus on the problem at hand, rather than getting caught up in the ‘negativity, the politics, the Facebook news, the drama’.
Australia is on fire and there are brave people all over the country VOLUNTARILY fighting day in, day out to keep our lives and homes safe.
These firefighters need our support more than ever! This should be our one and only focus.
To all of the people helping directly and indirectly around the country Thank you! To everyone else don’t forget to donate what you can to your charity of choice, every little bit will help! This is far from over!
To my family, I can not express how proud I am of you all! I love you and am forever thankful.
Since being posted on Saturday, January 4, the image of the exhausted firefighter has been shared over 44,000 times. It truly highlights the toll the fires are taking, and emphasises the country’s need for support.
You can also donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Brigades Donations Fund here.
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