News & Media

Kinglake CFA awarded for bravery

  • Royal Humane Society Awards December 2012

By: CFA Media

Category: Honours & Awards

  9.22 AM 18 December, 2012

Location: District 12 News, District 13 News, District 14 News

Views: 3970

Fifteen CFA volunteers from Kinglake brigade have received bravery awards from the Royal Humane Society of Australasia for their efforts during the 2009 bushfires.

The members were presented awards on Friday 14 December at Government House in Melbourne.

Award recipient Tricia Hill said the CFA members felt proud to be recognised.

“It was a real feelgood day for us all. We’re honoured,” she said.

A Silver Medal was awarded to Diane Susan MacLeod for driving a brigade car to a fire reported at Olive’s Lane and making sure no further cars continued going south. She also placed bollards on a round-about to prevent vehicles travelling south to St Andrews. As well as this, Diane helped protect the fire station by patrolling the area and knocking down embers and small spot fires which started within five metres of the station.

Firefighter Kelly Johnson received a Silver Medal for fighting the fire and embers at the Kinglake Hotel. She also collected residents who’d been injured when their home exploded, killing five people.

James Brendan MacLeod was awarded a Certificate of Merit for holding the door of the fire station shut to keep the embers and smoke out, while escorting residents who were seeking shelter. He provided first-aid and assistance to residents after the main fire-front had passed. James also helped repair and maintain the generator in order to keep power available to the station.

Carole Wilson, Maggie Mulvey, Patricia Hendrie and Fiona Stavenuiter received a Certificate of Merit for taking constant calls from residents seeking information. They also handed out masks for residents due to smoke in the fire station and provided drinking water.

A Bronze Medal was awarded to Gareth Mulvey whofought the fire and embers at the Kinglake Hotel and assisted in moving hoses back and forth behind to the front of the hotel and back again to protect the hotel, the motel units and the fire station form the south-west side.

Linda Craske received a Certificate of Merit fortending to an injured firefighter who she helped take to Whittlesea for medical treatment.

Phillip Petschel received a Bronze Medal for setting up the quick fills in the dark in order to facilitate the work of others, and he also protected the fire station and hotel from fire on the east and south sides.

Ben Hutchinson, Tricia Catherine Hill, Barry Byrne, Katherine Louise Grinlaw and Jason Smart received Certificates of Merit for rescuing numerous people in the Kinglake area during the February 2009 fires. These five members were on the Kinglake Tanker 2. They were called to a house in Jacksons Road where several residents were sheltering. When the wind changed direction, a fire ball engulfed the wall of the house and the crew continued to douse the property with water until the fire passed. Some crew members received minor burns and injuries.

After the 12 people in the house had been saved, Kinglake Tanker 2 cleared Jacksons Road of burning trees and debris. They saw a woman and child on the road heading towards Kinglake and stopped to help them. The woman had burns to her hands and face and was a family friend of the child. The child, who was about 10 years old, had extensive burns to her entire body. Ben Hutchinson began first-aid on the girl using water on her burns, while Barry Byrne and Tricia Hill got a blanket to hold up against the embers and debris to stop them falling on the girl.

The crew continued saving burning homes until 4.00am.


Left to right: Ben Hutchinson, Maggie Mulvey, Gareth Mulvey, Carole Wilson, Fiona Stavenuiter, Jason Smart, Patricia Hendrie, Tricia Hill, Diane MacLeod, Katherine Grinlaw, Linda Craske, Barry Byrne. Not in the photo: James MacLoed, Kelly Johnson and Phillip Petschel

Further details about the awards and presentation can be found on the Royal Humane Society website at

Last Updated: 18 December 2012