Bulletin No: 032 | 23 April 2020



United Firefighters Union extends deepest condolences to Police Association and members, and families of four Police Officers killed in line of duty


The UFU was deeply saddened last night to hear of the tragic news that four police officers had been killed in the line of duty. 

Emergency services, inclusive of professional career firefighters, responded to this tragic incident and were on scene for a number of hours last night/this morning.

This incredibly saddening news is a stark reminder of the danger emergency service professionals face in the course of their service to the Victorian community.


Last night, Peter Marshall, UFU Secretary contacted Wayne Gatt, TPAV Secretary to send his deepest condolences and offer his support to the TPAV and its members at this time.  This was followed by formal UFU correspondence sent on behalf of all UFU members.  A copy of this letter is enclosed for members to read here: https://www.ufuvic.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20-04-22-P-Marshall-to-W-Gatt.pdf

Today, the TPAV Secretary formally responded and asked that the following message be shared with UFU members:

Dear Secretary and members,

The Police Association Victoria Board, staff and membership are reeling as we mourn the tragic loss of four of its members in horrific circumstances on the Eastern Freeway last evening. Words at this stage cannot express the deep and unimaginable grief felt by our member’s families, their colleagues and within the broader community.

I want to deeply thank and acknowledge the work of your members overnight and this morning, who have stood side by side with our members, as first responders, assisting our fallen colleagues.

Our gratitude for them cannot be fully expresses in words, but I ask that his message be provided to your membership to let them know, that just as they have supported us, we will always stand ready to support them!


Support services available to UFU members and their families

UFU members responded to this tragic incident, and a number of members have both personal and professional relationships with members of the police force.  As such, the UFU respectfully reiterates the following welfare services that are available for members:


UFU Welfare Officer, Ross Fusca can be contacted by UFU members or members of UFU families (i.e. partners, children, parents) confidentially at ufuwelfareofficer@gmail.com or on 0477 884 456

We encourage all UFU members to use this welfare service. 

About Ross

Ross was appointed UFU Welfare Officer in 2016. Since then, Ross has had confidential contact with hundreds of UFU members and provides this service to members free of charge.  His understanding of the nature of the emergency services, his own experiences at Victoria Police, and his training, all contribute to the level of service provided by Ross to UFU members and UFU families.   

Ross came to the UFU with thirty years’ experience in law enforcement with the Australian Federal Police, attaining the substantive rank of Detective Sergeant. Within this role, he held the position of Welfare Officer (Victoria and Tasmania), encompassing portfolios including Return to Work Coordinator, Equal Opportunities Officer, Sexual Harassment Contact Officer, Aboriginal Liaison Officer and Regional Mediator.


CFA Personnel:

  • For CFA personnel there is a dedicated 24-hour access to a dedicated counselling service with psychologists by calling the Wellbeing Support Line on 1800 959 232. If you call this service you can have immediate access to a psychologist via telephone or alternatively makes an appointment This service is also available for family members. The Wellbeing Support Line also provides access to non-denominational pastoral care.
  • Additionally, for CFA personnel there is an extensive peer support program which can be accessed by calling the Wellbeing Support Line on 1800 959 232 or by calling peers directly (contact numbers are available at all stations or via the intranet).


MFB Personnel:

  • Call the 24-hour numbers to access the dedicated counselling service provided by psychologists: 1800 451 138 or 1300 366 789.  
  • This service provides immediate access to a psychologist either via telephone or alternatively in person by appointment.  This service is also available for family members.
  • Additionally, for MFB personnel there is an extensive peer support programme where a clinician can be accessed by calling 9665 4405 or 0407 665 174 or the Peer Coordinator on 0417 538 289 or 9665 4516.



Other external services that offer 24/7 support, as listed on the Black Dog Institute website, include:

LifeLine Australia – 13 11 14

MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

BeyondBlue – 1300 22 46 36

As always, if members have questions or concerns about any of the above information, you are always welcome to call your Branch Secretary Peter Marshall on 0419 127 004. 


Strength in Unity

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary