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Volunteer firefighter dies at Bendethra Camping area

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) confirms the death of a volunteer firefighter in the Palerang region.

Flags on NSW RFS buildings flew at half mast as a mark of respect for NSW RFS volunteer Mr Jitte Nieuwenhuis who tragically passed away yesterday. Jitte 79, was an active member of the Krawarree Rural Fire Brigade for over 20 years after moving to the area from Wollongong. His fellow Brigade members described him as a wonderful and active member that will be greatly missed. Late yesterday afternoon the Krawarree Brigade responded to a vehicle fire at the remote Bendethra Camping area in the Deua National Park. As the crew were preparing to return to their station Jitte experienced chest pains. A short time later he became unconscious. Despite the outstanding efforts of his NSW RFS colleagues providing first aid and CPR for almost two hours, Jitte tragically passed away. Source NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and local NSW RFS Manager Superintendent Tim Carroll spent today with Jitte’s family and fellow Brigade members. The Service will continue to provide assistance and support as required. Jitte is survived by his wife Jean, their three children and many grand and great grand children.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the Service's condolences are with the member’s family and friends, fellow crew and brigade members.

“We are offering every assistance possible to the volunteer’s family and fellow members," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“We will continue to offer whatever help is required."

Member for Bega, Andrew Constance said “My thoughts are with the family of a volunteer firefighter who died of a suspected heart attack yesterday in the Deua National Park. Volunteer fire fighters risk their lives to protect us all, and I offer my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones”.