Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block congratulates Graeme after naming Ladder Platform 67 in his honour
Two emergency services are mourning a loss today, as the funeral is held for Graeme Cooper who was an Ararat Fire Brigade volunteer for almost 25 years and an FRV Leading Firefighter at Station 67 in Ballarat.
Graeme was diagnosed with cancer about 18 months ago.
He joined Ararat brigade in 1996, becoming first lieutenant and third deputy group officer of the Ararat Group in 2004. He qualified as a career firefighter in 2006 and worked at Wodonga and Ballarat City stations.
While at CFA, Graeme gained important skills including steep and high angle rescue, trench rescue, strike team leader, sector commander and a certificate 4 in training and assessment.
Described by his colleagues as humble, always happy to share his knowledge and skills, and excelling at everything he did, Graeme received the National Medal and 20-year CFA service award earlier this year.
“He was renowned for his passion for the job,” said CFA Acting Deputy Chief Officer West Region Brett Boatman. “His contributions to specialist areas of CFA including ground observing, fire investigation and as a trainer and assessor on the ladder platform appliance at Ballarat City were remarkable.
“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Graeme’s colleagues from Fire Station 67 (Ballarat City) and Fire Station 68 (Lucas) for the way they have supported the Cooper family with fundraising, working bees and wellbeing support.”
Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block said Graeme was a knowledgeable and skilled firefighter, renowned for his attention to detail, thoroughness and exceptional standard of work.
“He was a leader in the field of fire investigation and a thorough and professional investigator. He was also integral in developing and building ground intelligence capability and known within the emergency management sector for his high standard of intelligence gathering and reporting.
“In February, I had the privilege of formally naming Ladder Platform 67 in his honour. This was a fitting tribute to a dedicated and respected firefighter.
“My thoughts today are with Graeme’s wife Felicity, children Hamish, Patrick and Chloe, and in particular his brother Peter is also a current FRV Leading Firefighter in Ballarat.
- Earlier this year Graeme received the National Medal and his 20-year CFA Service Award