Firefighters honoured for courageous acts

Published 5th May, 2015 in Emergency Services

The courage and commitment of firefighters and members of the public who risk their lives to help others during major emergencies in NSW and overseas has been officially recognised.

Kathryn Barnes being awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for her actions in Samoa
Kathryn Barnes is awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for actions in Samoa after the 2009 earthquake and tsunami. Image: Fire & Rescue NSW.

Sixty eight Fire & Rescue NSW firefighters are recipients of the Australian Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal, awarded in recognition of their work in international disaster relief efforts.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said the distinguished Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal was awarded to 64 specialist rescue firefighters who were part of the Urban Search and Rescue deployment following the devastating Christchurch earthquake in 2011.

Four other firefighters also received Humanitarian Overseas Service Medals for their work as logistical experts during the Australian response to the Samoan tsunami in 2009 where they supported an Australian medical team.

NSW Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott also praised the efforts of all those involved in the emergency response,

“These awards are an opportunity to formally acknowledge the actions of those who went above and beyond to help others and I commend them for their actions,” Mr Elliott said.

Sixty one firefighters and workers who bravely battled extreme fire conditions and risked their lives to save others during the October 2013 bushfires were presented with the Commissioner’s Commendations for Courageous Action and Meritorious Service.

“Many of these firefighters put themselves at great peril to rescue stranded residents,” Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Mullins said.

Four firefighters and four members of the public received commendations for their actions at several major fires, including a house fire at Mount Druitt in October 2014 and emergencies, including a motorcycle accident at Mangrove Mountain in July 2014.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Mullins said of the 100 plus firefighters recognised, “the firefighters we have acknowledged are a credit to themselves, the community and the fire and rescue service. Their actions were exemplary and I am very proud to have them under my command.”

Published 5th May, 2015 in Emergency Services