On behalf of the volunteer firefighters of Australia and New Zealand we extend our condolences to our fellow firefighters in New York City.
At this time our television stations are reporting that as many as 300 firefighters may have lost their lives in this act of infamy.
Our prayers are with you all and the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
We opened our recent annual conference in Christchurch, New Zealand with the following prayer. It has even greater meaning at this time.
When I am called to duty, God,
Whenever flames may rage
Give me strength to save some life,
Whatever be its age,
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me;
To guard my every neighbour and protect his property
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hands
My children and my wife.
God bless you all and God bless America,
Cam. Stafford, President, and Ian Bennett, Secretary
Australian Assembly of Volunteer Fire Brigade Associations