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Hume National Emergency Medals
More than 540 recipients across the CFA Hume Region have been presented with National Emergency Medals at ceremonies held in Kilmore, Kinglake, Marysville, Shepparton and Wodonga.
The presentation ceremonies were held to honour and recognise members who served during the 2009 Victorian Fires in frontline firefighting or behind-the-scenes roles.
Members who responded to the 2009 fires, either close to home or on strike teams, were thanked for their generosity and courage in taking time away from home and work to serve the community.
District 12 Operations Officer John Leben said the event had given the community and CFA colleagues the chance to recognise the service provided by our firefighters to their communities.
“The presentations at Kinglake, Kilmore and Marysville were both emotional and uplifting experiences,” he said.
“A final presentation will be held in Yea later this year to recognise those members form all District 12 Groups who have yet to receive their NEM.”
District 24 Operations Manager Paul King said that the event, while evoking difficult memories for many, had sent a loud and clear message to our members that the sacrifices they made are well recognised.
“This is about recognising our people for doing an extraordinary thing at an extraordinary time,” he said.
“The Beechworth Library Road fire in District 24 was the last of the Black Saturday fires to start and as a result many members from the area were already down at Kilmore on strike teams. It was incredibly difficult that we had people away from home protecting other communities when their own was under threat.”
The National Emergency Medal, which is coordinated and approved by the Governor General’s office in Canberra, recognises service to others during an emergency of national significance – in this case the bushfires of January and February 2009 where more than 19,000 CFA members were involved in frontline firefighting, incident management and support behind the scenes.
Hume events were attended by VIPs including CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson; the Hon Kim Wells MP, Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Ms Cindy McLeish MLA, Member for Seymour; Mr Bill Tilley MLA, Member for Benambra; and the Hon Jeanette Powell MLA, Member for Shepparton.