Despite viral reports to the contrary, the exhausted firefighter who brought his truck to a complete stop just to stare down the barrel of a news camera and tell Prime Minister Scott Morrison “go and get fucked” is not in danger of being sacked over the incident.
Over the weekend, footage from 7 News showed a RFS firefighter thundering down the road in his truck en route to yet another spot blaze. Upon spotting the news crew, Parker brought his truck to a stop, barked “are you from the media?” before shouting “tell the Prime Minister to go and get fucked, from Nelligan” straight down the camera.
— Stig Martyr (@StigMartyr) January 5, 2020
Overnight and into this morning, viral posts claiming the man – who identified himself as Paul Parker – was on the brink of being sacked by the RFS over the incident.
Scores of posts using the hashtag #savepaul dotted social media, which eventually spawned a Change.org petition calling for his job to be saved. That petition, which was still active at the time of writing, amassed some 45,000+ signatures in a short space of time.
The truth, however, is vastly different.
RFS officials have today confirmed that Parker is not being stood down over the incident, and was never in any danger of being.
However, Parker has been asked to take a back seat for the time being due to health concerns, primarily revolving around fatigue.
The 7 News footage showed Parker collapsed to the ground moments after the initial outburst. RFS officials assert that he has been asked to take a break from active firefighting duty, and that the time away from the job has nothing to do with his media comments.
Reportedly, it will be left up to Parker to decide when he is ready to return to fighting fires.
The Prime Minister, however, can still go and get fucked.