Bushfire responders awarded for heroism

Published: 20 Sep 2020

Released by: The Premier

The outstanding contribution of volunteers and service personnel during the 2019-2020 bushfires is being recognised with a new NSW Bushfire Emergency Citation. 


More than 65,000 people involved across a broad spectrum of the firefight will receive a citation, certificate of recognition, commemorative cap and a letter from the Premier acknowledging their contribution and thanking them for their service.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NSW faced an unprecedented bushfire season during 2019-2020 and this initiative recognises those who served both on the front line and behind the scenes.

“This citation is thoroughly deserved for the thousands of volunteers and emergency services personnel who put their safety on the line to protect lives and properties. Equally deserving are those recognised who provided critical behind the scenes support,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“In harrowing conditions, those recognised kept turning up to help their communities day after day, week after week, month after month. This citation serves as a reminder of their heroic dedication to the people of NSW in the most trying circumstances.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said it’s imperative we recognise the hard work and dedication of those who served their community during the ‘black summer’ bushfires.

“This is an opportunity for the people of NSW to show our brave emergency services personnel that we don’t consider them to be simply public servants in uniform. The unique nature of decorations and awards personify the bravery required and dedication to service.” Mr Elliott said.

The NSW Emergency Bushfire citations extend beyond NSW, with firefighters from interstate and overseas recognised. Thousands of Australians interstate will receive citations along with more than 300 people from overseas to thank them for their efforts in NSW’s biggest bushfire crisis in living memory.

Commissioner of Resilience NSW, Shane Fitzsimmons, joins the Premier as a signatory on the certificates of recognition.

“The NSW Bushfire Emergency Citation symbolises mateship, teamwork, volunteering and helping when times are tough,” the Commissioner said. 

“They are a meaningful commemoration of a bushfire season we won’t forget and a symbol of the state’s gratitude.”

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said the entire emergency services family deserves to be honoured.

“It is a privilege to represent the hard working members of the NSW Rural Fire Service and I am especially proud of those members who put service above self during the last bush fire season,” Mr Rogers said. 

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