Tree crushes car, ambulance officer Dearne Linda Fulcher killed in Katoomba

A woman killed when a tree fell on her car in Katoomba has been named as award winning ambulance officer Dearne Linda Fulcher.

A statement issued by the NSW Ambulance this afternoon expressed "deepest sympathy to the Fulcher family following the tragic passing of paramedic Dearne Fulcher in Katoomba last night".

"Dearne was a senior paramedic and clinician for more than 25 years, and was a shining light in her community and her profession," the statement said.

Ms Fulcher's son, believed to be driving the car, remains in hospital having surgery.

Ms Fulcher started with NSW Ambulance in 1994, and worked her way up to the role of intensive care paramedic operating out of Penrith super station.

"Always an extraordinary paramedic, Dearne displayed an enormous passion for delivering first-rate care to every single patient she encountered. Her strength of character was unrivalled.

"In 2002, Dearne was awarded a Bronze Bravery Medal for her actions in treating patients following a devastating series of fires at Medlow Bath."

The ambulance service said they and the "community of Katoomba, are forever indebted to Dearne's service".

The tree fell on the pair's Volvo sedan in Victoria Street. The son was trapped in the car and later freed by emergency services. He remains in a serious condition in Westmead Hospital.

A police media spokesman said officers were called to the North Katoomba street about 7pm last night where they found the car under a large fallen tree.

Officers located two occupants inside the car. The female passenger suffered fatal injuries, while the male driver aged in his 20s was trapped.

The driver was freed after a rescue operation involving Police Rescue, Fire & Rescue NSW and NSW Ambulance paramedics. He sustained head and chest injuries and was airlifted to Westmead in a serious condition.

Strong winds are believed to have brought down the tree. Officers from Blue Mountains Police Area Command have commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

NSW State Emergency Service Blue Mountains unit commander, John Hughes, said "SES provided some arborist advice to the NSW Police Force in the recovery part of this incident".

SES Blue Mountains received 69 calls for assistance in the previous 36 hours - the majority of calls from Hazelbrook to Bullaburra. Sixty three of the calls directly related to trees down or trees threatening. Winds peaked at 95 k/ph at Blackheath on Thursday evening.

Mr Hughes said the volunteers of the NSW SES were "saddened by the outcome of the fatal incident at Katoomba overnight where a tree had fallen onto a motor vehicle. This has affected our local and emergency services community greatly. Our hearts go out to the family as well as the Ambulance Service community the victim was proudly apart of."

Tributes are flowing on social media sites for the officer's outstanding service to the community.

Olivia Grace Mitchell said it was "a privilege to know this incredible inspiring lady." Kim Draper recalled "I did my level 1 with Dearne. A beautiful lady. Extremely intelligent, professional and compassionate. R.I.P. Condolences to her family and colleagues". And Brae Mc said she had "worked alongside Dearne. She was an outstanding paramedic. She will be missed by all. Very sad for her family and for the community".

Dave Kesby thanked the 343 Stn Katoomba FRNSW and Police Rescue along with attending ASNSW crews.

NSW SES volunteers will remain active for the next 24 hours to monitor the weather conditions, SES Blue Mountains unit commander John Hughes said. The forecast is for strong winds for the next 24 hours across the Central Tablelands easing into Saturday. Mr Hughes said there was a slight chance of snow to fall in the Oberon area on Saturday morning but the chance of snow in the Blue Mountains was now unlikely.

NSW SES volunteers from The Hills, Canterbury and Willoughby/Lane Cove were assisting the Blue Mountains teams today

- with Jennie Curtin