SENIOR Constable Kelly Foster, who died in a tragic canyoning incident on Saturday, wanted nothing more than to serve her community, and in doing so, paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Based at Lithgow Police Station, Sen Const Foster was yesterday remembered as a dedicated officer and friend.
Acting Superintendent Glenn Cogdell spoke to the media at Bathurst Police Station of Sen Const Foster's dedication to the job, saying she was held in the highest regard by all.
Mr Cogdell said Sen Const Foster was working as an intell analyst in the State Crime Command but wanted to get back on the front line, working in the community to help reduce crime.
He said she wanted to do what every officer wants to do - "to help people".
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He said this was evident in her final act, when her 24-year-old companion was in need of assistance after being caught in a whirlpool.
"She went to her companion's aid ... trying to save her," he said.
"It's what police do ... help save lives, and she has paid the ultimate sacrifice, and lost her life in the process."
Mr Cogdell said he has spoken with Sen Const Foster's parents, Terry and Marilyn, brother David and sister Leigh and passed on the love, prayers and condolences of everyone in Chifley Police District.
He said NSW Police were also trying to support Sen Const Foster's partner, Gavin, through the process of his loss.
He has also spoken with the family of the 24-year-old companion who also lost her life, and said despite the extremely tragic circumstances, had taken solace in the fact that she did not die alone.
Mr Cogdell paid tribute to Sen Const Foster, whose actions are now being considered for a commendation.
"She did what police do: she came to the aid of someone and didn't hesitate," he said.
The canyoning incident occurred at Mount Wilson in the Blue Mountains on Saturday.
Emergency services were called to Wollangambe Canyon about 2.30pm after the two women were swept into a whirlpool in the Wollangambe River and disappeared.
Their bodies were found about midday Sunday.
Initial reports from witnesses indicated the younger woman was tipped off her inflatable lilo when it was swept into a whirlpool.
Sen Const Foster attested on August 27, 2010, after which she commenced duties as a probationary constable at Newtown Local Area Command.
She was confirmed as a constable in May 2012.
Sen Const Foster joined the State Crime Command in May 2014 and worked as an intell analyst until May 2020.