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Female CFA duo recognised with top awards
More than 150 guests attended the annual Epping Fire Brigade dinner and awards night on Friday, 11 August which recognised the ongoing contributions made by brigade members.
For the first time in Epping Fire Brigade's history, two women have taken out both the Firefighter of the Year award and the Captains and Officers award.
Firefighter of the Year award recipient Deborah Azzopardi said she was left speechless when her name was called.
“To have your efforts recognised by your peers and Brigade Management Team to the level of firefighter of the year is outstanding!” Deborah said.
“I don’t do things for recognition or rewards I just do the best I can to get the job done, so I was completely overwhelmed to receive the award.”
Brigade member Leanne O'Malley, who was awarded the Captains and Officers award, said it came as a huge surprise.
“The award means a lot for me as it’s an award based on what fellow members think of my contribution to the brigade, so knowing that is really great,” said Leanne.
“Joining the brigade is something I never thought I’d do but I really enjoy it, I learn something new every day.”
Brigade 1st Lieutenant Rohan Stevens said both members and indeed all award recipients should be proud of their achievements.
“The event was a great opportunity to celebrate the success of the Epping Fire Brigade in protecting the community,” he said.
“The annual dinner is always a joyous occasion to recognise those individuals who have made significant contributions to operations, training and community safety.
“In the last financial year the brigade attended 466 incidents, a significant achievement and shows the dedication of our volunteers.”
The event was attended by:
- CFA Operations Officer Shane Bailey
- Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley
- Member for Melbourne Metropolitan Region Craig Ondarchie MP
- City of Whittlesea Mayor Ricky Kirkham
- MFB Acting Chief Officer David Bruce
- MFB Assistant Chief Officer Darren McQuade