Bushfire volunteers receive meritorious award

Published on Thursday, 2 November 2023 at 3:22:58 PM

Local bushfire volunteers have been celebrated at the City’s recent Emergency Services Volunteers Medal Presentations and Recognition evening.  

In partnership with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), the City hosted the important evening that provided opportunity to present national medals, service medals and clasps, as well as sincerely thanking local brigade members and their families for the amazing job they do year-round.  

The years of service celebrated was nothing short of exceptional. Brigade members Wally Lord and Ken Sue both celebrating 55 years. Douglas Walters and Allen Bothe 45 years. Graham Bailey and Tim O’Neill both celebrating 40 years. Other medals ranged from 5 to 35 years with a total of 120 medals and awards being issued.  

DFES Chief Superintendent, Paul Carr presented Certificates of Commendation to 25 volunteer brigade members across eight brigades. This award is the highest DFES award issued for service of meritorious nature and outstanding actions.  

The award was presented for the significant contribution to community, their dedication to duty and acts of bravery in the Hester town site fire that broke out in the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes (7km north of Bridgetown) back in February 2022. The City’s task force faced challenges of limited reconnaissance, unknown water sources and the fire's uncontrolled movement towards the Hester town site.  

Yallingup Rural Fire Control Officer, Matt Muir nominated brigade members for the award. He said “Despite the difficult circumstances and challenges faced, the Busselton task force demonstrated exceptional teamwork, communication and bravery throughout the operation.”  

“Their efforts, conducted under extreme conditions, contributed significantly to the positive outcome of protecting the Hester community and saving numerous properties, including those on Warner Street.”  

City of Busselton Mayor Phill Cronin said “Heading into the fire season, we currently have 382 volunteers - 346 of which are active firefighting members and 36 that are volunteers in support roles across our brigades.  

“I commend the bravery and dedication of all our emergency volunteers and their families. Congratulations and well done to this year’s award and medal recipients who are well-deserving of recognition.”  

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Leadership: A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

Photo for general use: Certificate of Commendation recipients.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to pr@busselton.wa.gov.au

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