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Dennis Purcell OAM
Denis Purcell’s community service and commitment to emergency response organisations has been recognised with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
That includes 33 years with the SES and eight with CFA, where he worked as a communications officer with Winiam Fire Brigade.
Denis said the decision to become a CFA volunteer was an easy one when he moved to the Mallee in the late 1970s.
“Everybody was very friendly. We all had a common aim.
“We were all there to look after our properties.”
He joined the smaller Winiam Brigade because he thought it could use his skills more than if he joined the larger Nhill unit.
“It was a thing that needed to be done, the community needed volunteers. Working as a Telstra technician at the time I was very fluent in radio communications.”
Denis paid tribute to the thousands of fellow volunteers he’s worked alongside over the years, pointing out that many are members of both CFA and SES.
“It reflects on all volunteers as well, not just myself. I hope it highlights that volunteering is a good and worthwhile thing to do.
“There are hundreds of people out there every day.
“It’s great to see so many young people joining up.”
Since 2004, Denis has served as the Principal Emergency Response Duty Officer for the SES’s Bacchus Marsh Unit.