Photo: (left to right) CFA Board Member Dawn Hartog, Winslow & Yarpturk Captain Mathew Deans and South West Region Deputy Chief Officer Rohan Luke
Eighty-six volunteer firefighters and CFA staff members from Victoria's south west have been honoured with National Emergency Medals for their efforts in the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire crisis.
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.
At a ceremony on Saturday, 3 September 2022, firefighters from across CFA District 5 became the latest of more than 5,500 CFA members to receive the honour for the 2019-2020 fires.
CFA Board Member Dawn Hartog presented the medals and said they were an important recognition of the valiant efforts of CFA members.
“The National Emergency Medal is a formal recognition that Australia appreciates the efforts and contributions of CFA members during the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis,” she said.
“It is a great honour to receive this medal and I hope it goes a small way to thanking our members for their service.
CFA Deputy Chief Officer Rohan Luke spoke of his pride for the CFA members’ efforts.
“The 2019/20 fires devastated East Gippsland and the North East of Victoria, however in South West Region we also had a number of fires that our brigades successfully overcame” he said.
“But from that crisis arose the most remarkable human spirit of generosity and ‘lending a hand’.
“Our medal recipients have exemplified that spirit, and I am incredibly proud of all of them.
“Whether they joined a firefighting strike team, worked in an Incident Control Centre or provided other assistance to affected communities – every contribution was valuable made a real difference.”
Winslow & Yarpturk Brigade Captain and medal recipient, Mathew Deans, said it was an honour to be formally recognised.
“The medal acknowledges the service of members and the time and commitment spent to support the Community. Whilst it isn’t about awards it is humbling to receive” he said
Whilst we don’t do it for the award it is humbling to receive.
“There has been a great turnout to the ceremony which has provided an opportunity to connect with other members post Covid.”
- Photo: (left to right) District 5 DPC Chair Greg Walcott, South West Region Deputy Chief Officer Rohan Luke, Board Member Dawn Hartog, Hamilton Fire Brigade 5th Lieutenant Celeste Benoit