Last Friday night Brigade Captain John Schulze had the privilege of presenting one of their worthy members, Ben Archard, with an award which hasn’t been presented by Koondrook Fire Brigade since 1992 - a Brigade Life Membership.
Ben joined Cohuna Fire Brigade as a runner in October 1977 and took part in many running team championship events. Ben is always keen to show his photos of the running team and the many trophies they won at championship events. 'Proud as punch' could describe Ben when it comes to his peers both in the running team and the brigades he has been a part of during his 43 years of service.
Ben rose up through the ranks and eventually became 1st lieutenant before moving to Koondrook where he joined the local brigade in August 2005 and they have benefited from his experience for many years. Ben was a lieutenant at Koondrook from 2007 to 2009 before he became captain, and served in that position for eight years.
During his time, Ben has been a driving force behind Koondrook's FEM program which has had a significant impact on the brigade's savings toward their long-term vision of a station expansion.
Ben also plays a big part in supporting newer members up through their training and into the ranks with his wealth of knowledge acquired over many years of service.
Along with brigade activities, Ben has always been actively involved with the VFBV both through the championship events at his previous brigade, as well as also being Koondrook brigade representative at VFBV meetings. Ben was also elected to the executive team at the last VFBV election which is a great achievement. After years of dedication to both organisations and the wellbeing of his wider community and fellow emergency service colleagues, he was also awarded the VFBV Gold Star award, presented by State Councillor Greg Murphy.
Congratulations Ben, a very worthy recipient of these awards and thank you for your dedicated service to your community and brigade.