Nineteen National Emergency Medals and sixty-one RFS Long Service Medals were presented over the weekend at the Chifley/Bathurst Medal Presentation to well deserving Rural Fire Service volunteers for their dedication to keeping our communities safe.
The National Emergency Medal is reserved only for those who rendered sustained or significant service during nationally significant emergencies in Australia. The recent medal ceremony recognised the outstanding work completed by the RFS in the devastating 2019/2020 fire season.
Teams of volunteers from the Chifley/Bathurst District which comprises of 53 brigades protected the Bathurst electorate and other parts of the state from the fires of 2019/2020 with some volunteers away for months at a time and others sadly losing their own homes whilst out protecting someone else’s.
The long service acknowledgements accumulated to over 1,645 years of service between sixty-one volunteers. Ron Boon received an RFS Long Service Medal for 68 years of service as well as Ken Stapleton for 67 years of service, both from the Burraga brigade. Norma Broomfiled from Yetholme Brigade was recognised for 64 years of service plus Ken Harmer from Perthville Brigade and Ron Pearce from Burraga Brigade for 60 years each.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole attended the ceremony to present the medals and congratulate the volunteers.
“It is very rare and special to have such dedicated professionals who frequently give up their own time and livelihoods to help others in times of emergency. You should all be very proud as should your families and communities,” said Mr Toole.
“The 2019/2020 summer was a harrowing fire season and you really rose to the challenge of facing unprecedented fires that tore through the state. We in the community are so grateful that we could call on you and your courage to battle blazes and protect us.”
All recipients are to be commended on their dedication, commitment, and service to the local community. A list of National Emergency Medals recipients follows:
Perthville/Georges Plains Brigade
- Lisa Bray
- Peter Harris
- Amanda Peterson
- Brendan Inwood
- Scott James
- Jemma Lawson
- Mark Lawson
- Lyndi Osmond
- Ryan Palmer
- Chris Bateman
- Tyson Manders (accepted by Tyson’s widow and children)
Chifley Lithgow Team
- Liz Lewis
Gurnang/Porters Retreat Brigade
- Andrew Sterling