Australian Prime Minister works a night shift on the fire line

Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott gives a thumbs up after a night shift helping to backburn with the NSW Rural Fire Service

The new Prime Minister of Australia, in office for a month, apparently is not your ordinary chief of state. During the recent rash of bushfires in New South Wales, Tony Abbott worked a night shift helping back burn near Bilpinwith with his Davidson Fire Service Brigade from Sydney’s Warringah Pittwater Rural Fire District. Mr. Abbott has been a volunteer with the Rural Fire Service Brigade for 13 years and is qualified as a specialist breathing apparatus operator, chainsaw operator, and tanker driver.

There are reports that the Prime Minister’s firefighting activities have been a challenge for his Australian Federal Police security detail charged with his protection.

In addition to serving as a firefighter, Mr. Abbott in the past has volunteered as a teacher in remote Aboriginal Communities. Before he was elected he promised he would continue to live one week a year in similar communities after becoming Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott with fellow firefighters
Prime Minister Tony Abbott with fellow firefighters from the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade.