Veteran volunteer firefighter Trevor Lee thanks icare

Long-standing firefighter with the Rural Fire Service of NSW, Trevor Lee knows better than anyone how destructive an out-of-control bushfire can be.

Firefighter Trevor Lee stands in front of fire station holding onto a fire engine.

Trevor Lee at the Warnervale Fire station.

The veteran firefighter has fought some of the most ferocious fires witnessed in NSW during his long career as a volunteer but, he says, it’s a worthwhile cause that he is proud to be a part of. 

Trevor joined NSW Bushfire Services, as it was known then, back in May 1976 at the age of 16. He drew his inspiration from his father who was a member of the local Kenthurst brigade. He joined, he says, as there was a need for more volunteers and because it was a great learning experience for young people to acquire new skills, discipline and also to meet great new friends.

“Being a volunteer firefighter is all about mateship. Every time you are called to a fire you have your mate's back. From the day I joined, at the age of 16, I developed great friendships that exist to this day,” says Trevor.

Trevor went on to serve as Deputy Captain at Galston Brigade and did a stint at Arcadia Brigade both of which are in the Hornsby Shire Brigades before moving to the Central Coast where he has been a member at Warnervale Brigade since 2003. In total, Trevor has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 43 years.

icare supports Trevor

When a fire broke out near Wyee on the Central Coast on 30 December 2018, Trevor was one of the first responders on the scene. The blaze began in a car with flames rapidly gaining hold of surrounding scrub. The fire was quickly spreading in multiple directions making the job of containing it extremely difficult.

Three firefighters were injured that day. Trevor was one of them.

“I fell awkwardly and tore the quadriceps tendon in my right knee. It was very painful and, basically, meant that I couldn’t walk. My colleagues helped me from the fire ground and in to a waiting ambulance,” says Trevor.

Following surgery to rectify his torn quadriceps tendon, he contacted icare to begin the workers compensation process provided by icare on behalf of the Insurance for NSW Scheme. His icare case manager kicked into gear assuring him that he would be looked after.

“From start to finish support has been at the end of a phone and icare even told me that if I couldn’t work they would have covered my costs. Being self-employed I simply changed roles to a training role and was able to still run my communication business,” he says.

It’s been just over 10 months since the accident and Trevor is learning to walk again building strength in his injured knee. icare is continuing to support him with a local physiotherapist and gym membership so that he can get as close as possible to full strength.

“It will never be perfect, but I am so happy that I was covered and in fact I was advised by my Case Manager that the injury is covered for life. My experience with icare has been excellent and volunteers can rest easy that icare is there to help,” he says.