Picture of exhausted firefighters from Australia goes viral. Thanks come in from around the world.

AU tired firefighters

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A couple of days ago we were talking about what the public thinks of firefighters. We all know it is at a time of crisis that your stock usually rises. Sometimes all it takes is one image to sway public opinion for the good or for the bad. The picture above of exhausted firefighters napping taken by Phil Hearne of the New Castle Herald, is reminding the world what firefighters in Australia are going through trying to deal with devastating wildfires.

This picture has gone viral. It has been seen by millions worldwide and drawn in hundreds of thousands of comments. One can imagine in our world of Compulsive Outrage Disorder, that some people out there will see the picture and the phrase “crew taking a nap” and jump immediately to the wrong conclusion. Thankfully the public figured this one out and the CODers haven’t raised their ugly heads (though I think I just gave the Call The Cops website a new idea for a bogus article).

Ashleigh Gleeson, New Castle Herald:

THEY worked through the night in horrific  conditions to help save Catherine Hill Bay  from flames but these firefighters don’t consider themselves heroes.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the world beg to differ, after an image captured by Newcastle Herald photographer Phil Hearne was posted online and went ‘‘viral’’ at the weekend.

The photo, which shows exhausted Wallarah Rural Fire Service brigade members sleeping on the road at Nords Wharf as flames lap close by, has been seen by 3.7million people on Facebook.

Matthew Jones-Power, 24, was one of the  crew taking a nap on Friday morning. It was his first break  since 2.30pm on Thursday.

‘‘That was pretty crazy, we just stopped for about two seconds to catch our breath,’’ he said.

‘‘We were waiting for the fire to come up to the road; we needed to take a break when we could.

‘‘It had been non stop for about 24 hours.’’

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