DCO Kaylene Jones, Benalla Fire Brigade Captain Jamie Beaton, CFA Board member Dawn Hartog
84 local volunteer firefighters and CFA staff members 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 Sunday, 7 August, firefighters from across Benalla and Mansfield areas became the latest of more than 5,500 CFA members to receive the honour for the 2019-2020 fires, with additional ceremonies to be held throughout CFA District 23 in the coming weeks.
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 Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said he is proud of the CFA members’ efforts.
“The 2019/2020 fires devastated East Gippsland and the North East of Victoria,” 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 each and every one 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.
Benalla Fire Brigade Captain and medal recipient, Jamie Beaton, said it was an honour to be formally recognised.
“It was great to receive some recognition of the work that was put in during the 2019-20 fire seasons, the effort was enormous.”