Top honours awarded to State’s outstanding firefighters
Western Australian firefighters have been recognised for their role in protecting lives and properties as well as promoting community safety at the 2013 Firefighting Awards.
Station Officer John Landwehr and volunteer firefighters Darren Smith, David Hasted and Matthew Bartels were acknowledged at the awards ceremony held today for going above and beyond what was expected of them, and showing leadership in their field.
In addition to his full time role, Station Officer Landwehr is a long term volunteer with the Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness (JAFFA) program that educates children between the ages of six to 6 who have been involved in fire lighting.
Darren Smith has engaged with key stakeholders in the Great Southern region to ensure people in his local community receive appropriate support following serious incidents, while David Hasted and Matthew Bartels provide the best possible volunteer service they can.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the firefighters had been recognised in their local communities for their outstanding efforts in making a difference.
“These exceptional firefighters have each combined initiative with a keen dedication to helping members of the community who find themselves caught up in emergencies or situations that may cause them harm,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“While the exceptional commitment of four firefighters has been acknowledged today, the awards are an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the work of all firefighters in Western Australia.
“Courageous is a fitting word to describe every firefighter who has dedicated their time and acted bravely during dangerous and difficult incidents where lives and property may be under threat.
“It is no small feat to be a firefighter. In congratulating the award winners, my congratulations also go to the many fire and emergency services personnel who consistently rise to the challenge and protect people in their time of need.”
The Firefighting Awards for 2013 were presented across four categories:
WA Career Fire and Rescue Service Award
John Landwehr, Aviation Services
A firefighter for 18 years, Station Officer John Landwehr followed in the footsteps of his father who has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 60 years. In addition to his full time role in DFES Aviation Services, Station Officer Landwher volunteers in his own time with the Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness (JAFFA) program. He has been delivering fire safety education sessions to young people on a one to one basis as part of the free, confidential education and support program since 1995. He has been integral in the review of the program throughout its history and is one of the program’s longest serving volunteers.
WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Award
Darren Smith, Wagin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service
Born and bred in Wagin, Darren Smith has demonstrated an ongoing and high level commitment to his community. A life member of the Wagin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Smith has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 16 years and captain of the brigade for nearly six years. He has been instrumental in raising funds for a fire appliance and construction of a new volunteer fire station that he and other members helped build. He is also a volunteer for a number of community organisations and was involved in helping the Wagin community after two youths lost their lives in separate road crashes within weeks of each other.
Murray Lang Bush Fire Service of WA Award
David Hasted, Ivanhoe Bush Fire Brigade
David Hasted has been vital in keeping the Ivanhoe Bush Fire Brigade operational and responsive since its inception in 1997. A volunteer firefighter with the brigade for more than 15 years, Mr Hasted has in depth knowledge and experience in fighting fires across the Kimberley region. He has been recognised as a leader and strong team player when responding to incidents. In addition to fighting fires, he greatly assists the brigade by storing all equipment on his own property, and he is constantly making a positive and generous contribution to his local community.
Youth Achievement Award
Matthew Bartels, Morangup Bush Fire Brigade
The day after turning 16, Matthew Bartels joined the Morangup Bush Fire Brigade. Since joining the brigade, Mr Bartels has completed his Crew Leader and Advanced Bushfire Fighting training that enables him to carry out a number of volunteer roles. Currently studying at Murdoch University, he is using his new skills to enhance the work of the brigade by designing a contact database, updating IT training and equipment, as well as assisting with installing a new security system at the volunteer fire station.
Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs on 0457 731 458