Dandenong, Springvale and Hallam brigades recognised for courage

Crew members from Dandenong, Springvale and Hallam brigades received the Chief Officer’s Unit Citation for Courage in recognition of two separate incidents in 2016.


In a ceremony at Dandenong Fire Brigade, Dandenong and Hallam brigades were noted for their efforts at a house fire in Dandenong on 1 October 2016, while a month later Springvale and Dandenong crew members were called to the Commonwealth Bank Springvale, where a member of the public had lit both himself and the branch on fire.

CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington praised the efforts of those involved in each of the incidents.

“One the privileges I get as Chief Officer, is to recognise how great our people are. I’m just so proud, so rapt that our people work so professionally in what they do,” Steve said.  

“In both of these instances our crew are running in, when the rest of the general public are running out of the building.

“When you don’t know whether it’s an explosion or a bomb or whatever it is, our crews are still running in with a view to saving life and property, and that’s really special.

“You can’t help but be proud of people like that.”

The Chief Officer’s Unit Citation for Courage is awarded to brigade crew or strike teams to acknowledge a collective act of courage in dangerous circumstances.

When most Victorians were watching the AFL Grand Final, Senior Station Officer Darren Padgett led a crew that battled a blaze at a two storey unit in Ann Street, while members conducted a search inside the property for a missing four-year-old boy.

Despite considerable smoke and flames emitting from the unit, and the possibility of structural failure, extraordinary efforts were made to access the top floor of the building to search for the child.

Although the efforts of the crew were to no avail, the exceptional bravery they displayed did not go unnoticed.

At the Commonwealth Bank branch, Senior Station Officer Matt Jones led a crew that initially controlled the fire, and then evacuated 15 bank staff and customers to safety. Outstanding leadership and teamwork was displayed by all involved in a complex and dangerous incident.

All acts were executed without hesitation, despite the fact the whereabouts and motivation of the offender were unknown as the crew arrived at the scene.  More than 20 casualties were treated by firefighters until paramedics arrived. The Chief Officer’s Commendation was also given to several members of Springvale and Dandenong fire brigades, for the supporting role they played in the Commonwealth Bank incident. 

Chief Officer’s Unit Citation for Courage

October 1, 2016 incident:

Dandenong Fire Brigade

Senior Station Officer, Darren Padgett

Senior Station Officer, John Katakouzinos

Leading Firefighter, Stuart Radley

Leading Firefighter, Brendon Siinmaa

Leading Firefighter, Ben Kilday

Qualified Firefighter, Joshua Arnold

Qualified Firefighter, Peter Basset

Qualified Firefighter, Damien McLean

Firefighter, Samuel Gregory

Hallam Fire Brigade

Station Officer, Ugur Ali

Leading Firefighter, Samuel Watterson

Firefighter, Matthew Staple

November 18, 2016 incident:

Springvale Fire Brigade

Senior Station Officer, Matthew Charles Jones

Leading Firefighter, Bryce Matthew Frohn

Qualified Firefighter, Paul James Cameron

Firefighter, Paris Philippou

Firefighter, David Paul Van Helden

Dandenong Fire Brigade

Senior Station Officer, John Katakouzinos

Leading Firefighter, Adam Tyrie Small

Qualified Firefighter, Damien Maxwell McLean

Firefighter, Samuel Gregory

Chief Officer’s Commendation

Springvale Fire Brigade

Firefighter, Caleb Mark Ratten

Firefighter, Eli Mace

Firefighter, Benjamin Meiers

Dandenong Fire Brigade

Senior Station Officer, Adrian Barry Devenish

Qualified Firefighter, Roy Walter Peterson

Qualified Firefighter, Peter Andrew Basset


Author: Tim McGlone