A veteran across Victoria’s emergency services, Ken Heddle, was recently awarded a 60-year life member medal by Eaglehawk Fire Brigade.
Ken has served as a member with CFA, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), now known as Fire Rescue Victoria, and has been involved as a judge at State Firefighter Championship events and volunteered for the fire services museum for 25 years.
CFA District 2 Assistant Chief Fire Officer Bill Johnstone presented the award to Ken, with his wife and Eaglehawk Captain Kylie Davis in attendance.
Ken has been a member with the Eaglehawk brigade for around 12 months now after he relocated from Werribee, where he served CFA since 1961.
Eaglehawk Captain Kylie Davis said Ken has been very enthusiastic during the time he has been a member.
“He always turns up to training for a coffee and a chat before we head out to train,” she said.
“He’s always interested in getting to know people at the brigade and has been very involved with our young teams for the firefighter competitions.”
He first joined the CFA at Werribee Fire Brigade, where he grew up just down the road from the station.
Ex-Werribee CFA Captain and Ken’s brother-in-law, Darryl Wells, served many years working alongside Ken at CFA and MFB.
“When he was young, every time the siren went off, he was keen to see where the trucks went and visit the station from a young age,” Darryl said.
“Ken also got involved in judging at firefighter competitions, became involved with various committees and ended up being track master for many regional and state competitions.
“He moved into the role of brigade Secretary from 1992 to 1996 and he was one of the best Secretary’s I had the pleasure to work with.
“Ken was above all a firefighter, he was outstanding in his service and absorbed as much information as he could.”
“Over his 60 years, Ken has been an exceptional member and his contribution to the CFA has been outstanding and it is a privilege to call him a friend.”
Ken said he was surprised to have been awarded the life membership medallion.
“The fire brigade was always a part of my life,” Ken said.
“My favourite part about being with CFA has been the companionship you build with other people. There are still members I keep in contact with all the time.”
Ken has also been awarded as an CFA Honorary Life Member in 1991, Clasp for National Medal in 1995, and 2nd and 3rd Clasp for National Medal in 2015.