26 September 2023

Local firefighters win overseas medal

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Australian firefighters deployed to assist in fighting the 2017 wildfire emergency in British Columbia, Canada, are now eligible for consideration for Australia’s Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, said it was important to recognise the outstanding efforts of more than 200 Australian firefighting personnel who were deployed to assist the people of British Columbia.

“During 2017, British Columbia experienced its worst wildfire season – over 1.2 million hectares of land were burnt and around 40,000 people were displaced,” Mr Morton said.

“Australians are all too familiar with the devastation brought on by natural disasters and it’s only fitting that these firefighters are recognised for their extraordinary efforts helping some of our international friends.”

The Governor-General, David Hurley, accepted the recommendation from the Government that the event be declared for the purpose of the medal.

The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal recognises members of Australian organisations, and members of Australian contingents to international organisations, who are exposed to risk or danger in the course of providing significant emergency humanitarian aid to civilians overseas.

Mr Morton said eligible organisations would be contacted regarding nominating eligible personnel for the medal.

He said the eligibility criteria for the award, including details such as the location, dates of service and eligible organisations, are set out in the Governor General’s declaration.

The declaration can be accessed at this PS News link.

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