The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) stated it has not booted Paul Parker, a man who swore at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, denying reports about the firefighter being "sacked" by his brigade.
"The NSW RFS is aware of reports concerning the status of volunteer member Paul Parker from the Nelligen area. We can confirm Paul remains a member of the NSW RFS and has not been dismissed", the service said in an official tweet.
— Stig Martyr (@StigMartyr) January 5, 2020
The news about his sacking has resulted in a massive backlash and the hashtag #IstandwithPaulParker is trending in Australia on Monday.
"You're finished because of your allegations and foul language against the prime minister of the country while representing the RFS." Firefighter Paul Parker from Nelligen sacked from RFS. #TheProjectTV #auspol #AustralianFires pic.twitter.com/cBevXZRjzi— David Marler (@Qldaah) February 16, 2020
The prime minister, however, said the firefighter was "incredibly exhausted" at the moment, stressing that Parker should not be dismissed.
"But the RFS have confirmed he wasn't, and I'm pleased about that", he added.
Deadly blazes amid extreme heat have been ravaging Australia since the summer, killing at least 33 people and around 1 billion animals, per media reports. Vast parts of the country were damaged by the bushfires, with Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland still in peril.