Emergency service volunteers from three regions of the State have been recognised at this year’s Volunteer Emergency and Fire Services Awards.
The annual awards highlight the efforts of more than 1,000 Volunteer Emergency Service (VES) and Volunteer Fire Service (VFS) members who stand ready to respond during emergencies to keep communities safe.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said over the last financial year the VES and VFS had responded to more than 645 incidents.
“West Australians, particularly those in regional areas, are very well served by these devoted volunteer personnel who can always be counted on when disaster strikes,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“They are called on to turn out to fire emergencies involving homes and buildings, bushfires, major traffic crashes, storms, floods and cyclones, as well as providing assistance at a variety of search and rescue incidents.
“We are all better protected because of the support these volunteers give to the community, and these awards are an opportunity to highlight their achievements.”
Commissioner Gregson thanked VES and VFS members who made themselves available to help people in need around the clock.
“In addition to attending incidents, these fire and emergency service volunteers make time for regular training, and this willingness to sacrifice their time for others is testimony to their dedication,” he said.
“As a community we can be extremely proud of such hard working volunteers who give their all without any expectation of reward, and it is these qualities that help to make the services they provide for our State so invaluable.”
Award recipients were recognised for their dedication to maintaining an effective response capability and providing safety information to the community; outstanding effort demonstrated in a Kimberley land search; and furthering the interests of the VES and VFS through the Emergency Services Volunteers Association (ESVA).
The Volunteer Emergency and Fire Services Awards for 2012 were presented across three categories:
Outstanding Volunteer Member Award
Greg Speedy, Morawa Volunteer Fire Service
Greg Speedy has been a fire service volunteer for 15 years, moving up through the ranks to assume the role of Morawa captain. An excellent leader, he ensures the unit is well trained, equipment is in top condition, and the community is well advised on matters of fire safety and awareness. No matter how large or small the task, Greg leads from the front and inspires fellow volunteers.
Outstanding Volunteer Emergency Service or Fire Service Brigade Award
Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Emergency Service Unit
This small but dedicated unit has a response capability that includes search and rescue, hazardous materials and firefighting. One extended land search in April this year involved volunteer teams moving slowly through tough terrain including thick, tall undergrowth, spear grass and vines. The volunteers worked in uncomfortably hot temperatures looking for a missing man, and in total devoted more than 240 hours to the task.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services Award for Excellence
John Iffla, Bremer Bay Volunteer Emergency Service
John has made an exemplary commitment to the Bremer Bay Volunteer Emergency Service. As President of the Emergency Services Volunteers Association (ESVA) he has also ensured that the interests of the VES/VFS are always represented. His strong leadership and dedication has meant that the ESVA considers the interests of all stakeholders, with community safety paramount.
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