The deputy fire commissioner, a black snake and a round of golf

It was during the round of golf Mr Connellan was bitten by a suspected black snake up to three times.

There were puncture wounds on his calf. He was suffering severe nausea, abdominal cramps and back spasms. He was given intravenous fluids and a compression bandage was applied.

A helicopter whisked him to Westmead Hospital where he was given further emergency treatment.

He posted news of the event on LinkedIn with a pic of the snake bite. He wrote: «This is what a snake bite looks like 2 days after the time when I probably stood in it and it struck me 3 times, but this is not about the bite, it’s to pay appreciation to one of my best friends Jim, Lindy and my wife who provided essential initial first aid.»

He thanked Ambulance Service NSW paramedics, Careflight retrieval team and the doctors and nurses at Westmead Hospital.

NSW Fire and Service deputy commisioner Malcolm Connellan posted an image of his snake bite wounds on LinkedIn

NSW Fire and Service deputy commisioner Malcolm Connellan posted an image of his snake bite wounds on LinkedInCredit:LinkedIn

The shadow emergency services minister, Guy Zangari, however, is questioning the wisdom of two senior officers playing golf during conditions of heightened fire risk.

A spokesperson for the Fire and Rescue NSW said: «Our Senior Executive staff are dedicated to serving the community and routinely work in excess of standard hours and are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As per NSW Public Service Senior Executive Contract of Employment Clause 13.1, “The Senior Executives must work the hours necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities of the Senior Executive’s role”.

On this day, whilst only the Southern Riverina was under a Total Fire Ban, during this time, FRNSW maintained full operational capability.»

Mr  Zangari said the commissioner needed to give an explanation about what took place.

«Everyone has a right to know about what occurred on this day,» he said. «Front line firefighters are held to account by attendance management protocols when they want to take a day off.

«Who was in charge of fire and rescue on a critical day?» he said.

The Herald was unable to contact Mr Connellan.

Tim Barlass is a Senior Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

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