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Chief Awards St.Arnaud Firefighters
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson AFSM was in St Arnaud on Saturday 27 July to presented six St Arnaud Fire Brigade firefighters with the prestigious National Medal.
The National Medal was created by Royal Warrant and was introduced in 1975. The award is available to emergency service operational members who provide at least 15 years of diligent high level service in approved organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members.
The Medals were presented at the Brigades Annual Presentation Dinner to Captain Trevor Baldock, Secretary Simon Burge, Lieutenant Garry Jennings and Firefighter’s Rod Wilton, Michael Snow and Ivan Darlington.
The night collectively brought together St Arnaud brigade members, partners and invited guests to celebrate yet another successful year and to acknowledge outstanding service and support from brigade and community members.
Official guests included CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson AFSM, Northern Grampians Shire Councillor Jim Anderson, Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Vice President - Urban Mick Nunweek, District 16 Operations Manager Chris Eagle, District 16 Operations Officer Ian Morley, and Craig Cheesman St Arnaud Group Officer.
Operations Manager Chris Eagle presented service awards to four members of the St Arnaud Fire Brigade. Service awards are presented to deserving members in recognition of service given to the Brigade and CFA. Marlene Wilton received a 5 year certificate of service, Firefighter Simon Burke received a 25 year service medal and Lieutenant Garry Jennings received a 35 year service medal.
A 50 year service medal was presented to Alan ‘Snow’ Williams who has been a member of the St Arnaud Fire Brigade since 1963. Snow in his early days with the brigade was a valued member of the Competition Running Team contributing too many of the brigades’ successes at numerous fire demos around the state. Up until recently, Snow monitored CFA radio traffic from his business Kara Dry Cleaners, in which he would received a radio call from the Department of Environment fire tower at Stuart Mill advising of a smoke sighting in the local area. Snow with the assistance of his staff then responded local CFA brigades to the fire via landline. Now radio communications go through to a central CFA dispatch centre located in Ballarat. Snow was made a Life Member of the brigade in 2002.
Firefighter of the Year 2013
Barney Ezard was announced the winner of the 2013 Firefighter of the Year Award after the official ‘counting of the votes’. Barney received 43 votes through a rigorous process adopted by the Brigades Management Team, and won by only one vote ahead of second place getter Firefighter Robert Elliott. Both Barney and Robert make a substantial contribution to the brigade and in turn to the local community through their regular attendance at fundraising working bees and fire and emergency response.
Community Support Acknowledged
Special Commendations were presented by Captain Trevor Baldock to the brigades valued supporters Stewart and Roxanne Egan and Alan, Carmel and Andrew Weir from Weir’s SUPA IGA for their generous donations and continued support they provide to the Brigade. The brigade thanked both Stewart and Roxanne for their sponsorship whilst publicans at the Farmers Arms Hotel in St Arnaud.
The contribution by the Weir Family to the brigade through their SUPA IGA store in St Arnaud has provided much needed funds to enable the purchase of equipment to provide a more specialist response to the local community. Through the IGA Community Chest Program which is funded by shoppers purchasing IGA signature branded products, has enabled the brigade to purchase radio communication equipment, a trailer to support the brigades fundraising efforts and a defibrillator which is carried on the fire truck to be used if a member suffers cardiac arrest whilst responding to an emergency.
On the night the brigade not only paid recognition to the members that received an award, but to all members that contribute to the brigade and in turn provide assistance to the local community through emergency response and community education programs.