Ninety-nine local volunteer firefighters and CFA staff members from across the Latrobe Valley 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 2 October 2022, this group of firefighters 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,” 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."
Deputy Chief Officer Trevor Owen spoke of his pride for the CFA members’ efforts.
“The 2019-20 fires devastated East Gippsland and north-east 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 and made a real difference.”