26 September 2023

Honours for Black Summer firefighters

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Staff of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) have been recognised with National Emergency Medals for their efforts coordinating the response to the 2019-20 fire season.

Commissioner of RFS, Rob Rogers was joined by the Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, Steph Cooke to present the medals to 88 staff members who provided sustained or significant service across the State during the devastating fire season.

Ms Cooke said the National Emergency Medal was awarded to individuals whose service was in the protection of lives and property, or interests that were not their own, and who supported the emergency response for a minimum of five days between September 2019 and February 2020.

“These RFS members went above and beyond to help respond to the bush fires that impacted so many communities,” Ms Cooke said.

“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your dedication throughout the long and dangerous Black Summer bush fire emergency.”

Commissioner Rogers said the medal recipients should be proud of themselves and their dedication to protecting communities across NSW.

“The majority of these staff are also volunteer members of the organisation and spent days in the field as well as in incident management teams or State operations,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“Many worked non-stop for months on end, and it is fitting to recognise them for their tireless efforts helping to keep communities safe,” he said.

“Personnel were also dispatched to assist with the firefighting coordination efforts across the State, including the Northern Tablelands, Mid Coast, Shoalhaven and Far South Coast.”

Commissioner Rogers said the staff members honoured last week joined more than 16,000 volunteers across the State who had been awarded the National Emergency Medal for their efforts during Black Summer.

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