Moyhu Group Officer Derek McPherson with Chief Officer Jason Heffernan and CFA board member Peter Shaw
Sixty-three local volunteer firefighters and CFA staff members have been honoured with National Emergency Medals for their efforts in the 2019-20 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, 14 August 2022, firefighters from across the Wangaratta area became the latest of more than 5,500 CFA members to receive the honour for the 2019-20 fires.
CFA Board member Peter Shaw 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 2019-20 bushfire crisis,” Mr Shaw 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 spoke of his pride for the CFA members’ efforts.
“The 2019-20 fires devastated East Gippsland and the morth-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."
Moyhu Group Officer and medal recipient, Derek McPherson, said it was an honour to be formally recognised.
“It’s great to get recognition of the work we do, both our firefighters on the frontline and also those in support roles at group headquarters and fire stations," Derek said.
- Wangaratta Deputy Group Officer Greg Keane and CO Jason Heffernan
- Laceby West firefighter Mel Evans with CO Jason Heffernan and CFA Board member Peter Shaw