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Gordon Sampson OAM
“One day I might need the community to come and help me.”
“There are jobs that need to be done.”
Lang Lang’s Brigade’s Gordon Sampson is modest about what has helped motivate him to devote so much of his time and effort to his community.
Having already been awarded with a rare CFA lifetime membership, Gordon was recognised with a prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) at the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Gordon’s impressive resume of giving back to the community spans more than 50 years. Along with his CFA service Gordon has been involved with the Rotary Club of Koo Wee Rup/Lang Lang, the Lang Lang Community Bank and the Lang Lang Pastoral, Agricultural and Historical Society just to name a few!
Gordon has lived in Lang Lang for all of his life and for much of it he has been a member of the Lang Lang Brigade for much of that time.
Gordon held the position of Captain for a remarkable 27 years, and says of the achievement:
“Well I must have been doing something right because they kept voting me back in.”
“I took it all in my stride.”
Gordon was also Brigade President for 20 years and Treasurer for 11 years and says being self-employed made being an active member of the Brigade easier.
“It meant that I could turn out to incidents during the day.”
With many years in CFA and having attended countless incidents under his belt there are a few that stand out for Gordon.
As a Deputy Group Officer Gordon was charged with leading a strike team to the New South Wales.
“There was a massive fire threatening the Bulga National Park near Lithgow, close to a coal mine.
It was vital that the fire didn’t entire the coal mine, as it would’ve been a pretty bad situation, similar what happened with Hazelwood recently.
“We managed to create a fire break and stopped it getting into the mine.”
“It was tedious at times, but we were successful in the end which was the main thing.”
Gordon was also involved in the Ash Wednesday fires, leading Lang Lang’s second strike team into the fire ground.
“I was responsible for leading a group of young people, for many of them it was their first experience on the fire ground.
“By the time we got there we were mostly doing blacking out. We ran two sessions from 5pm through to 5am the next day.
“There was a lot of blacking out and clean-up work to be done.”
Another memorable incident that stands out for Gordon was the Channel 7 chopper crash in 1982.
“They had deviated to Lang Lang from covering another story.”
The chopper crashed while attempting to film a car accident in Lang Lang, unfortunately killing all five passengers on board.
When asked what his family think about him devoting so much of his life to others in the community Gordon says,
“They must’ve thought I did alright because they’re the ones that nominated me.”
Gordon’s wife and two sons nominated him for the award.