Extraordinary Western Australian firefighters awarded
Volunteer and career firefighters who have excelled in serving Western Australian communities have been recognised at the 2014 Firefighting Awards.
Firefighters from Broome, Boddington, Cue, Fitzroy Crossing and Perth received awards at the ceremony held today at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Kenn McLeod from the Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Emergency Service was recognised for his leadership in a unit that is responsible for firefighting across a vast geographical area, with the closest back up 300 kilometres away.
Youth Achievement Award winner Kellie Bullen was recognised as a skilled firefighter who contributes both on the fire ground and in her role as Secretary of her brigade in Broome.
Perth Station Officer Garth Civil was awarded for being an outstanding role model for fellow firefighters, by promoting mental wellbeing and acting as an ambassador and spokesperson for Act Belong Commit.
Stephen Manning from the Cue Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service was awarded for his tireless work at hazardous material and road crash incidents and in community education.
Matthew Thompson from the Boddington Bush Fire Brigade received the Murray Lang Bush Fire Service of WA Award for giving up many hours of his own time, including involvement in key steering committees that work to benefit the fire services and the community.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said all of the firefighters had been awarded for outstanding efforts in their respective communities.
“Each of the volunteer and career fire services plays a vital role in assisting our towns, suburbs and community to stay safe and become more resilient,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“The awards provide an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the work of all firefighters in Western Australia, but in particular, we acknowledge the outstanding effort of these five firefighters today.
“It takes a special person to become a firefighter and these exceptional people have each shown dedication and commitment to helping at a time when the community needs them the most.”
The Firefighting Awards for 2014 were presented across five categories:
Youth Achievement Award
Kellie Bullen, Broome Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service
Ms Bullen has been a part of the Broome Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) since she was a young child as her father is a founding member of Broome VFRS. Ms Bullen joined the brigade in 2010 has since been an extraordinarily dedicated member. Ms Bullen has qualifications in structural firefighting, breathing apparatus, hazardous material and road crash rescues. Ms Bullen is an active member who is highly regarded by her peers as a skilled firefighter.
Murray Lang Bush Fire Service of WA Award
Matthew Thompson, Boddington Bush Fire Brigade
Mr Thompson has devoted an extraordinary amount of his time and energy to the fire services over many years. In addition to being an active member of his brigade, he is also DFES liaison officer for the Great Southern. He is also involved in a number of steering committees across the fire services, including the WA Fire and Emergency Services Conference and the Volunteer Hardship Scheme. Mr Thompson is a devoted and diligent volunteer who gives up many hours of his own time to provide a much needed service to his local community.
Volunteer Emergency and Fire Services Award
Kenn McLeod, Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Emergency Service
Mr McLeod is a highly competent firefighter with the ability to respond to and manage emergency situations. Mr McLeod is responsible for an enormous patch of WA, with the closest back up 300 kilometres away. In the 2013 bushfire season Mr McLeod was Incident Controller of the Fitzroy Volunteer Emergency Service that attended more than 100 fires and incidents. Mr McLeod’s leadership and expertise allowed his unit to extinguish fires that came close to housing, without loss of life or property. He has also devoted many hours to building community resilience and attracting and maintaining brigade membership.
WA Career Fire and Rescue Service Award
Garth Civil, Station Officer Perth Fire Station
In addition to his position as a full time firefighter, Mr Civil is an ambassador and spokesperson in the mental health space, using his exposure as an Avon Descent paddler and Rottnest Swimmer to raise awareness of the Act Belong Commit message. In a career where firefighters are exposed to traumatic incidents, Mr Civil’s strong profile in the community and amongst his colleagues has helped to de-stigmatise mental health issues.
WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Award
Stephen Manning, Cue Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service
Mr Manning has selflessly committed himself to the Cue Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) providing exemplary leadership and support to his members and surrounding brigades. Mr Manning’s extensive experience has proved invaluable at numerous hazardous material and road crash rescue incidents and has ensured the safety of all involved. He works tirelessly during the bushfire season to ensure the community is well informed in all fire prevention and preparation matters, delivering the best possible service to the area. Mr Manning’s ability to impart his knowledge and experience to those around him makes him an invaluable member of this service.
ESVA Outstanding Volunteer Member Award
Adrian Goh, Bullsbrook Volunteer Fire Service
Mr Goh has committed himself to improving his brigade through a revitalised training program. By developing sessions that specifically address the brigade’s learning requirements, Mr Goh has delivered targeted training that focuses on key areas for improvement and ensures all members feel welcome and valued. Mr Goh’s passion for training has been highly beneficial to the brigade, increasing their competency and in turn the safety of the community.
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