Two CFA firefighters have been awarded the CFA’s Commendation for Service for their leadership in establishing Walking Off The War Within - a national movement to raise awareness of mental health and PTSD in the emergency services.
Josh receives his Commendation from CO Steve Warrington. Photo: Uniform Photography
Leading Firefighter Josh Martin from Ballarat City brigade and Station Officer Adam Young from Mildura brigade were presented with their awards by Chief Officer Steve Warrington and DCO Gavin Freeman at this year’s event in Ballarat on 23 March.
Operations Officer Anthony Pearce from Ballarat City Fire Brigade and Operations Officer Ron Shiner from Mildura Fire Brigade also accepted letters recognising their brigade's overwhelming support of the event.
DCO Gavin Freeman. Photo by Uniform Photography
Read more about CFA's participation in Walking Off The War Within
The CFA Commendation for Service is awarded for service of a meritorious nature, or outstanding actions or innovations in relation to fire service duties, administrative leadership or exemplary performance of a specific difficult project or task or outstanding service during a special event or over a prolonged period.
Both Josh and Adam’s award recognises the instrumental role they played in the organisation, development and implementation of Walking Off The War Within in honour of their colleague and friend Nathan Shanahan, who lost his own life due to mental health issues in December 2016.
It also acknowledges the leadership they displayed in supporting others in their brigades and the wider emergency services experiencing depression and PTSD.
Leading Firefighter Josh Martin from Ballarat City brigade. Photo by Uniform Photography
Station Officer Adam Young from Mildura brigade. Photo by Uniform Photography
In presenting the awards, Chief Officer Steve Warrington said: “It is with a sense of pride I am able to recognise outstanding service of two individuals within our organisation with the CFA Commendation of Service.
“This award recognises both Josh and Adam’s compassion, dedication and commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues through the development of Walking Off The War Within.
“The walk has become such a successful event for such a very important issue that affects the lives of our emergency service men and women.
“Their efforts to bring more attention to support opportunities and to also reduce the stigma that can sometimes surround mental health have been outstanding.”
Operations Officer Anthony Pearce from Ballarat City Fire. Photo by Uniform Photography
Brigade Operations Officer Ron Shiner from Mildura Fire Brigade. Photo by Uniform Photography
CFA Wellbeing Support Line - 1800 959 232
If you are not okay, or if you notice a change in someone you know, contact the CFA Wellbeing Support Line to access free, confidential and 24/7 support.
These services are available to all CFA staff, volunteers and immediate family members.
The support services include the Member Assistance Program with psychologists and counsellors, Traditional and Career Firefighter Peer Support Program, Chaplaincy Program, Let Me Know platform, Bullying and Harassment Hotline, Centres Against Sexual Assault as well as the CFA Organisational Wellbeing team services. To view the complete range of services visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/wellbeing
Author: Shaunnagh O'Loughlin