CFA members at National Emergency Medal presentation in Wodonga
The significant contributions of CFA firefighters and staff during the 2019/20 Australian bushfire crisis are being recognised, with National Emergency Medals being presented to more than 700 North East Victorian members.
The National Emergency Medal is part of Australia’s Honours and Awards system and recognises significant or sustained service to others in a nationally significant Australian emergency.
The prestigious award will be presented to 715 CFA members from Victoria’s far North East, which was one of the most heavily impacted regions during the 2019/20 fires.
Ceremonies in Wodonga on Friday 8 July, and Corryong on Sunday 10 July were the first in North East Victoria with additional presentations to be held later in the month, as more than 5,500 medals are to be presented across the state to those who served during the crisis.
The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), presented the medals at the Sunday event, and said it was an essential part of recognising the service of CFA volunteers during the bushfire crisis.
“The National Emergency Medal acknowledges the efforts that have been made during some of our country’s most challenging periods.
“The NEM is a means of saying thank you to recipients – and that Australia recognises the service they have given.
“In recognising individuals here in North East Victoria, we also highlight and celebrate the tremendous contributions that have – and continue to be – made by CFA volunteers across Victoria,” the Governor-General said.
CFA Board Member Dawn Hartog said the 2019/20 fire season brought out the best of CFA.
“North East Victoria is no stranger to significant bushfire events, however that season was one of the worst in memory,” she said.
“The sustained response from our members was inspiring; initially helping our interstate colleagues, before protecting our own communities as the fires impacted North East Victoria.”
CFA Acting Chief Officer Gavin Thompson spoke of his pride for the CFA members’ efforts.
“Our members worked for months on end, doing whatever it took to protect and care for lives and property, and standing alongside our emergency service and community partners.”
“Our communities, particularly those in the Upper Murray continue to feel the impacts of these fires, and we hope this recognition of service contributes towards the healing process.”
- CFA members at Wodonga ceremony
- Acting Chief Officer Gavin Thompson and CFA Board Member Dawn Hartog with a CFA member at Wodonga
- The Governor-General presents National Emergency Medal to Redel Whitehead from Tintaldra Fire Brigade
- Sophie Hewatt from Corryong Fire Brigade