American firefighters received quite the welcome at the airport from Australians who have been battling the catastrophic bushfires. Simple travelers stood, clapped, and cheered as American firefighters passed through the airport. Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service posts a video of it on Twitter.
“US fire fighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria. Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity,” Fitzsimmons says.
Many cheer on American firefighters as they come to help Australia in a time of need
US fire fighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria.
Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity. #NSWRFS @NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/5epg5y4qxX
— Shane Fitzsimmons (@RFSCommissioner) January 9, 2020
Sean Snyder of Alabama was part of this group of firefighters coming to help Australia. His wife, Autumn, says that she was very humbled by the response they were met with. “It’s so refreshing and gratifying to see them be welcomed and appreciated,” she says. Snyder is an assistant fire management officer for the US Forest Service in Talladega, Alabama. He volunteered for the assignment, which is 30 days long.
Although the whole family is humbled and excited for the opportunity, it was hard on them, including their three children. “We are a public service family and believe in doing all the good we can,” Autumn says. She adds, “We are super proud of the work he is doing over there.”
The inferno sadly continues
Australia and New Zealand have actually been sending firefighters over to the United States for more than 15 years. The most recent is from August 2018 when 138 firefighters from overseas arrived to help. The last time U.S. firefighters helped in Australia was in 2010.
The bushfires in Australia have been ongoing since September 2019. CNN reports that there are now 27 people confirmed dead with more than a billion animals also dead. The fires have burned more than 17.9 million acres of land.