Photo courtesy Matt Houston Photography
Two firefighters have been officially commended for saving a woman from her burning home at Wyndham Vale last year.
Werribee Fire Brigade CFA volunteer Mick Davie received the Chief Officer’s Commendation for Courage certificate and medal, and Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) firefighter Rodney Mitchell received the Chief Officer’s Commendation certificate for their incredibly brave and heroic actions on 26 March, 2022.
Mick and Rodney were driving with their families when they saw the column of smoke nearby. They left their families to assist at the property where they discovered a woman was trapped inside.
As the house was well alight and there was a high fuel load, accessibility was limited. Mick and Rodney were unable to make access through either the front or rear of the property, so they used their firefighting knowledge and skills to climb up onto the roof, removed some tiles and materials and lifted the woman out through the roof safely.
Their Commendations noted ‘they decided to act diligently and not without peril towards themselves, in directly preventing what likely would have been a fatal outcome.’
More than 60 firefighters battled the blaze that day which was billowing thick black smoke into the air for several hours.
The Chief’s Commendations were presented at Werribee Fire Brigade’s annual dinner recently.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said he was extremely proud of Mick and Rodney’s courage, skill and professionalism that day.
“This act of heroism proves how dedicated they are to being firefighters and protecting lives,” he said.
“Mick and Rodney ultimately risked their own lives to save another, and they were well deserving of these Commendations. All firefighters that day did an incredible job to control the fire while protecting neighbouring assets.”
Commendation recipient Mick Davie said he was shocked to receive not only the certificate but the medal too which no one in his brigade has received before.
“The training that we have had as firefighters led to this outcome – we knew what to do so we did it,” Mick said.
“You don’t have time to think in that situation, you just act and follow your instincts. We’re lucky the woman was still conscious so we were able to rescue her without going further into the house.”
FRV Station Officer and former CFA volunteer Rodney Mitchell said it was a case of the right place right time.
“Michael and I didn’t do what we did that day for a commendation, praise or an award. We were rewarded on that day by being able to safely remove the occupant from their home,” Rodney said.
“I have no doubt that had it been any two other firefighters there instead of us on that day the outcome would have been the same.”