Top honours bestowed to fire and emergency services personnel
Five Western Australian emergency services personnel have been recognised for their distinguished service to the community as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced yesterday.
The Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) was awarded to Department of Fire and Emergency Services Goldfields Midlands Superintendent Trevor Tasker, Stirling District Officer Adam Bannister and Wellness Officer Robert ‘Hank’ Kingma.
The AFSM recipients were recognised for improving operational services in the Goldfields Midlands region, increasing the capability of aerial fire suppression in Western Australia, and raising awareness of mental health issues facing firefighters.
Volunteer Marine Rescue WA Association South West Regional Commander Brian Lucy and Northshore State Emergency Service volunteer James MacLean were named as recipients of the Emergency Service Medal (ESM), with their tireless work and dedication to their respective services highlighted.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the prestigious ESM and AFSM medals are one of the highest honours a member of the Australian fire and emergency services can receive.
“These recipients have truly gone beyond the call of duty and I congratulate them for their outstanding contribution to the emergency services in Western Australia,” Mr Gregson said.
“They are exemplary role models for all of us, with their can-do attitude, hard work ethic and pursuit for excellence evident.
“Their service has contributed greatly to creating a safer and more resilient community in Western Australia.”
The medals will be presented by the Governor of Western Australia at a ceremony held later in the year.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955
Summary of the June 2016 Western Australian AFSM and ESM recipients
Australian Fire Service Medal
Mr Trevor Tasker AFSM
Mr Tasker joined the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Fire and Rescue Service in 1980 and has dedicated his 35 year career to improving operational services in the Goldfields region.
As a District Officer he provided training to volunteer and career firefighters and also managed the Kalgoorlie Career Fire and Rescue Service, acting as a mentor to young firefighters in the region. He has always made himself available, dealing with matters which trouble volunteers and staff alike.
As an accredited Level 3 Incident Controller he has dealt with many emergencies throughout his career, showing exceptional leadership during significant incidents, including the Boorabbin bushfire in 2007 and the Toodyay bushfire in 2009, as well as the Kalgoorlie Boulder Earthquake.
He has also improved service delivery and support to Indigenous communities in the Goldfields region by initiating and nurturing a great working relationship with remote desert communities. He was instrumental in organising training and emergency management advice to these communities which has linked in with bushfire mitigation, while being considerate of Indigenous heritage sites.
Mr Tasker has always had the best interests of his staff in mind and has mentored employees and volunteers while encouraging them to strive to new heights.
Mr Adam Bannister AFSM
Mr Bannister commenced his service as an Air Attack Supervisor (AAS) in 1998, one of the few Western Australian firefighters that were endorsed to coordinate fixed wing fire bombers. In 2002 with the introduction of rotary wing fire bomber, known as Helitaks he became one of the original Helitak Supervisors. He continued in this role until his appointment as Air Operations Officer.
During his time in Air Operations he was integral in providing leadership and guidance to all aircrew. His positive and continued encouragement during training of new Air Attack Supervisors and Air Intelligence Officers has had a direct result on the professionalism and calibre of all members of the unit.
He was also a founding member of the team that developed the model on how to use Aerial Fire Suppression Aircraft in Western Australia, a model that is still in use today. His unwavering passion has also enabled him to orchestrate and refine operational procedures and doctrine and training standards.
Mr Bannister has made significant contributions to improving the quality and capability of aerial fire suppression service for the community of Western Australia. His diligent service reflects DFES' vision of a safer community and has led to DFES having one of the country's leading aerial fire suppression models.
Mr Robert ‘Hank’ Kingma AFSM
Over much of his almost 40 year career Mr Kingma has been unconditional in his endeavours to help his colleagues. He has mentored and led less experienced firefighters, not only in the development of the necessary skills to undertake their job role effectively, but also to help them grow and develop as people.
He has a caring and calming demeanour that gives him an innate ability to build relationships and influence people at any rank to create positive change. He has always been passionate in participating in programs to support the community and colleagues alike.
He is also an accredited Mental Health First Aid Trainer and continues to educate others and build awareness of stress and mental health issues facing firefighters. He has played a pivotal role in introducing and expanding the Mental Health First Aid training throughout the state for DFES staff and volunteers. He has also been instrumental in building relationships and collaborating with other agencies such as the Western Australia Police, who will often send their own personnel to DFES Mental Health First Aid courses.
It is without question that the Wellness Branch within DFES would not be where they are today without his passion, commitment, dedication, openness and curiousness about new ideas and ways of doing things. In doing so he has earned the respect of his colleagues and has helped to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health.
Further, he provides wellness support during large scale incidents including the Parkerville and Margaret River bushfires, and for families of personnel on interstate and overseas deployments. The impact Mr Kingma has had on the many individuals he has assisted cannot be measured.
Emergency Services Medal
Mr Brian Lucy ESM
Mr Lucy has been active with the Busselton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group since 1983 and was a founding member. During the planning and construction phases for the Group's new headquarters he took on the demanding role of building coordinator and contact.
Since 2002, he has held the position as Group Treasurer and has taken an active role in the development of a marine rescue cadet unit at Busselton. This has involved preparing administrative arrangements, acquiring cadet vessels and equipment, and developing training resources. He also trains new members in radio operations and runs the communications facility in a highly efficient manner.
Currently he is the Volunteer Marine Rescue Western Australia Association's South West Regional Commander and has responsibility for not only the five Marine Rescue Groups in his region, but to marine rescue across Western Australia.
Mr Lucy is highly regarded for his diligence and commitment to marine safety and to the broader community.
Mr James MacLean ESM
Mr Maclean joined the Perth Unit of the State Emergency Service (SES) in 1982. In 1989 he was appointed Deputy Local Manager and was instrumental in ensuring the smooth relocation of the Unit from Northbridge to Leederville.
In 1994 the City of Perth SES was restructured into four municipalities. This coincided with the name change from the Perth SES Unit to the Northshore SES Unit, which now covers nine local government areas. This was a unique change as Northshore was, and still remains, the only WA SES Unit to operate across so many local government areas.
In his positions at the Northshore Unit, namely as Deputy Local Manager and later as Local Manager, which he took on in 2007, he has been at the forefront in encouraging and maintaining close relationships with the local government areas and other Government and non-government agencies. Additionally his passion and commitment to the SES has seen Unit membership numbers steadily increase and as Local Manager he was instrumental in developing an improved and more transparent management structure.
He is a qualified trainer/assessor for a range of SES courses and delivers training to members on almost all scheduled training courses undertaken by the Northshore Unit and often on training courses being conducted by other Units or by the DFES Academy. He also continues to make himself available for call-outs either as a responder in a damage mitigation team or as an Operations Officer. Since 1994 he has been the Northshore SES representative for the Western Central Local Emergency Management Committee and, up until recently, was the representative for the City of Perth Local Emergency Management Committee.
Mr Maclean has had significant involvement in all aspects of SES requirements over the past 33 years, playing an active role in numerous searches, and he is held in high regard by his colleagues and superiors.
For the full biographies of AFSM and ESM recipients visit https://www.gg.gov.au/queens-birthday-2016-honours-list