(left to right): CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan, Captain Matt McCarthy and Board member Peter Shaw
Over four hundred local volunteer firefighters and CFA staff members from District 2 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 ceremonies held across the weekend, members from CFA’s District 2 became the latest of more than 5,500 CFA members to receive the honour for the 2019-2020 fires.
CFA Board Members Peter Shaw and Ross Coyle 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,” they said.
“It is a great honour to receive this medal and we 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.
“While these 2019/2020 fires devastated East Gippsland and the North East of Victoria, it’s important to acknowledge local response,” he said.
A state-wide Total Fire Ban was declared on 21 November 2019, which saw bushfires break out across almost every municipal area in the North West Region.
“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 and made a real difference.”
Strathfieldsaye Captain and medal recipient Matt McCarthy said it was an honour to be formally recognised.
“Volunteer fireys don’t do the job for praise or awards – we do it to help out fellow Australians in need,” Matt said.
“That said, it is nice for the hard work of our volunteers to be formally recognised in this way.”
- (left to right): Board member Peter Shaw with Harcourt brigade members and Chief Officer Jason Heffernan
- (left to right): Board member Peter Shaw with Eaglehawk brigade members and Chief Officer Jason Heffernan