Photo: Leongatha Captain Mick Wight with DCO Owen and CFA Board member Peter Shaw
One hundred and fifty 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 held on Sunday 16 April, firefighters from across Bass Coast, Baw Baw and South Gippsland became the latest of more than 5,500 CFA members to receive the honour for the 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 bushfire crisis,” he 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 Deputy Chief Officer Trevor Owen spoke of his pride for 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.”
Tarwin Lower & District Brigade Captain and medal recipient Michael Moore said it was an honour to receive his medal with fellow brigade members, Jo Wainer and Robyn Langford.
“While were the ones to receive these medals, the rest of the brigade continued to look after the areas of Tarwin Lower & District, including Walkerville and Venus Bay during the 2019-2020 bushfires,” Michael said.
“There’s always got to be someone to get the truck out the door to continue to serve our communities.
“I’ve always said we’re a team and I feel quite proud of our brigade.”
- Photo: Nilma North recipients, from left, Ted Osler, Russell Dempsey, Lynden Dempsey and Jamie Magyar
- Photo: Tarwin Lower and District members Dr Jo Wainer (OAM), Captain Michael Moore and Robyn Langford
- Photo: Yanakie Member Mark Wrigley with DCO Owen and CFA Board member Peter Shaw