Vale Joe Ryan, Valor Medal recipient

It is with great sadness the CFA acknowledges the passing of Valor Medal recipient Mr J.E. Ryan on 21 April 2020.


Joe Ryan, centre, with his daughters Pam Strom, left, and Karen Robinson, right.

A long-time member of Willaura Fire Brigade, Mr Ryan is one of only 25 CFA members to have received the CFA’s highest honour for bravery.

Mr Ryan received his medal for valor in 1978. On 21 October 1976 Mr Ryan entered a burning house three times, at great risk to his own life, to rescue five children, their babysitter and the family’s dog.

At the time of the rescue, the children were aged between two and 10. The children’s father was working a night shift and their mother was in hospital having a baby. The children, babysitter and dog all survived the fire.

Mr Ryan credited his firefighter training at Penshurst for saving lives and said he would do it again given the same situation.

 Our thoughts are with Mr Ryan’s family, friends and all at the Willaura Fire Brigade at this time.

Mr Ryan's Valor Medal

Mr Ryan's Valor Medal

Author: Miranda Schooneveldt