Remembering 2nd Lt. Peter Harry

It is with a heavy heart that Gisborne Volunteer Fire Brigade prepare to say the last farewell to a valued comrade, a close friend, a devoted husband and a great father.

The sudden loss of Lt Peter Harry during a house fire in the early hours of December 30, 2012 will leave a huge gap in our hearts; the loss to his immediate family is even larger and we stand ready to support them. The Gisborne Fire Brigade extends our heartfelt condolences to Peter’s family. The pain and loss we are feeling can only be a small fragment of yours.

The Gisborne Fire Brigade would like thank everyone for their help, support and kind words during this very tough time.

Peter joined the CFA soon after Ash Wednesday as the events were so profound on him at the time. In 2002 Peter was elected to office initially as Comms Officer. He was soon a Lieutenant and for several years the brigade’s Training Manager. According to Captain Sam Strang Peter had a great passion for training. “He was a great innovator and had many great ideas in regard to training requirements and scenarios.”

Peter had other great virtues that endeared him to his peers and always made him invaluable around the brigade. “He had a great strength in engaging with new recruits and also in recruiting new members,” added Captain Sam. “He was a great support for them and kept them informed with everything they needed to assist them through their training and probationary period.” Peter was also well regarded by his peers for his innate ability to provide a level thought process toward decisions affecting the brigade. “He was a great source of analytically reviewing critical brigade decisions.”

Firefighters were called to the house fire in Brantome Street just before midnight on Saturday, 29th of December. It took about an hour to control the fire and during the clean-up at the end of the job, Lt Harry went to retrieve a portable battery powered light from the scene. A very short time later he was discovered lying on the ground at the side of the house. Firefighters immediately responded to assist Peter and an ambulance was called. The fire crews and ambulance personnel tried to revive Peter for quite some time but unfortunately this was not successful.

Mt Macedon Group Officer Ian Hay said “I would like to thank you all for the help, guidance and kind words during this very tough time. As a member of the Gisborne Fire Brigade and Group officer of the Mt Macedon Group I am extremely proud of the greater CFA family. To the crews of our neighbouring Brigades – Sunbury and Riddell’s Creek – thank you for your efforts and work with the Ambulance crews. In the very confronting circumstances, your team work was magnificent. The sudden loss of Lt Peter Harry in the early hours of December 30, 2012 will leave a huge gap in our hearts; the loss to his immediate family is even larger and will require our support for some time.

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson committed the CFA to providing support to the family and the brigade. “CFA is saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies are with the firefighter’s family, his friends and colleagues. We also extend our deep sympathies to the members of the Gisborne fire brigade. We will be doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time. We will also support his colleagues across CFA,” he said.

The funeral to mark Peter’s life will be held in Gisborne Wednesday the 9 th of January 2013, in Gisborne. Please see today’s herald sun newspaper for more details.

Rest peacefully, you have done your duty, we will take over from here.

Vale Peter Harry.