Shock, sadness after death of ‘outstanding’ firefighter
THE passing of beloved Fire & Rescue instructor Brian Aubusson, 60, has left his workmates and the wider firefighting community "shocked and saddened".
NSW Fire & Rescue Regional North Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Gary McKinnon, said Mr Aubusson was an exceptional man as well as an outstanding firefighter.
"There's a real sense of shock and disbelief about Brian's death," he said.
"Brian was both highly regarded and respected and the two qualities don't often go together.
"He was greatly loved and shall be very much missed."
Supt McKinnon said Mr Aubusson was due to retire at the end of July.
"Brian has nearly 41 years in the service and he would have come into contact with at least half of the 1100 firefighters in the zone during that time," he said.
"He was exceptional in being a good commander, firefighter and a really good instructor, as he could build people's skills.
"Brian could take people off the street and give them the practical skills and mental strength to get on a fire truck and respond at an incident."
Supt McKinnon said when COVID-19 restrictions allowed, F&R NSW would hold a formal memorial for this much-loved firefighter.
"I spoke with our commissioner on Friday and when we can, we will certainly hold a formal memorial in honour of Brian," he said.
On Facebook, Fire & Rescue Regional North 2 posted: "Yesterday, May 14 2020, the world lost a living legend - Brian Aubusson, 60, sadly and unexpectedly passed away at his home in Ballina.
"Aubo was the heart of our Zone. He was a great SIC, loyal friend and one of the funniest people you will ever meet.
"He was loved by so many people and seemed to know everyone.
"Aubo was due to retire in July and had a whole new life planned with his partner Kel. God speed, champion - life will not be the same without you."
Meanwhile, the Robertson Spuddies Rugby League Club said they were "saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Brian Aubusson".
"'Roy' came to our club in the late 1980s and was immensely popular with teammates and supporters alike," the club posted on Facebook.
"Playing mainly centre or backrow, he was a fantastic defender with great tackle technique - he drove many an opposition player up under the ribs and into the dirt at Spud Park.
"Brian was a good clubman during his time with us and also enjoyed a long and distinguished career with NSW Fire & Rescue.
"Two of his sons (James and Mitchell) started out their footballing careers in maroon and white as ball boys for us, played for the Junior Spuddies in the early 90s and have kicked on to bigger things in the NRL.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Aubusson family at this sad time."