News & Media

Pulled from the path of fire

  • Merrigum member John Dozzi receives an award during volunteer week from the Campapse Mayor

By: Sonia Maclean

Category: Honours & Awards, Incidents - Bushfire

  12.55 PM 27 May, 2013

Location: District 20 News, District 22 News

Views: 3138

Merrigum Brigade firefighter John Dozzi has received a special commendation for bravery, presented by the Campapse Shire Mayor during a recent volunteer week ceremony at the Echuca Civic Centre.

John’s quick-thinking response and steady resolve resulted in a collapsed firefireghter being moved away from the path of an oncoming fire, treated promptly for severe smoke inhalation, and handed over to ambulance paramedics. The injured firefighter's mother subsequently nominated him for the award.

John had been on the way home following his second tour at the Mt Hotham fire on 7 February this year (2013).

The day didn’t end there, however, with the Merrigum member being required to return to treat a second injured firefighter for suspected broken ribs and shortly after proceeded to help the incident controller to take control of one of the sectors.

Robert Brown, a district 22 brigade support officer, said that John Dozzi was a valuable asset to the brigade, both because of his commitment and his high-level first aid background.  

“John is one of those people who goes above and beyond and we at the district are really delighted that he was nominated," said Robert.

 John Dozzi recounts his story below:

“On the 7th February 2013 I was on my way home when I heard two maydays on the radio for a fire at Cooma, Victoria.

“As one of the maydays was from my brigade tanker (Merrigum) I stopped at the fire to offer assistance as a fire fighter. When I arrived the Kyabram tanker – who also made a mayday call – came out of the smoke.

“A crew member on the back of the Kyabram Tanker was in serious need of medical attention and collapsed as he was getting off the truck.

“At this stage we were in a safe area, and I was able to assist him in my personal vehicle however the fire soon began to move towards us and we were required to evacuate. That involved moving the member, myself and vehicle to another safe area where I monitored his vital signs and treated him as needed.  

“I stayed with the member until the ambulance arrived, then shortly after treated another fire fighter for suspected broken ribs.”

John Dozzi has been a CFA member for 23 years, starting at Drysdale Brigade in 1990. He currently holds the position of Communications Officer at Merrigum Fire Brigade, where he has volunteered since 2009.

He is currently studying with Elite Medical Solutions Albury to become a paramedic.  

The Campaspe Community Volunteer Awards are awarded in three categories: Individual, Young Person and Organisation.  John was nominated for the Individual Award by CFA's District 20.

Last Updated: 17 July 2013