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Media Release

State’s finest firefighters recognised at annual awards
Sunday 10 September 2017 – 12:45 PM

Argyle Irishtown Bush Fire Brigade’s dedication to supporting and empowering their local community to be bushfire ready was recognised this morning, along with a group of outstanding Western Australian firefighters awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty.

The 2017 Firefighting Awards celebrated the achievements of volunteer and career firefighters from as far north as Derby through to Cascade in the Great Southern. 

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson presented the awards and commended the finalists for their service and commitment to community engagement. 

“Beyond responding to emergency incidents, volunteer and career firefighters are heavily invested in assisting communities to stay safe and become more resilient,” Commissioner Gregson said. 

“These awards provide an opportunity to celebrate all Western Australian firefighters, but in particular, acknowledge the exceptional actions and qualities displayed by individuals, brigades and services.”

“It has been a pleasure to recognise one final group of outstanding personnel who exemplify the safe hands I leave the State’s firefighting capabilities with.”  

Derby Volunteer Fire and Rescue Captain Warren Schofield was awarded the WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Award. Warren has dedicated almost 30 years to volunteering in the bushfire service and since becoming Derby Captain just last year, has boosted the brigade’s membership from six to more than 20 members. 

The Murray Lang Bush Fire Service of WA award was presented to Cascade Bush Fire Brigade Captain Will Carmody for his dedicated community engagement activities including annual bushfire presentations for foreign workers in the township.

The Team Achievement Award went to Argyle Irishtown Bush Fire Brigade for their devotion to community preparedness activities. The significance of their initiatives was evident this year when the Argyle Heights subdivision was impacted by fire in January. 

Richard Oman from Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services Unit received the WA Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services award for his integral, highly respected role in the team. After losing his home and contents to fire, Richard has dedicated himself to active volunteering. 

South Coastal Regional Operations Support Officer (ROSO) Andrew Seuren was awarded the WA Career Fire and Rescue Service Award. As the very first Metropolitan ROSO, Andrew was responsible for establishing the position which will be activated in all four Metropolitan regions in the future. 

The Western Australian Firefighter Awards 2017 recipients are:

WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Award 
Warren Schofield, Derby Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service 
After becoming Captain last year, Warren brought Hamlet Grove Bush Fire Brigade and Derby Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service together to train, increase community engagement activities and improve turnout time. More recently he started the Derby Emergency Services Cadets to encourage children in the area to get involved in emergency services. 

Murray Lang Bush Fire Service of WA Award
Will Carmody, Cascade Bush Fire Brigade 
As Captain of Cascade Bush Fire Brigade, Will has devoted his time and experience to supporting the community. His initiatives include bushfire focused 'Ladies Days' events for wives and children, home safety events and burn off activities for local farmers. Will was also recognised for sending a crewed appliance 100 kilometres into the Shire of Esperance in January 2016 to support local brigades. 

WA Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services Award
Richard Oman, Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service 
Richard has been a member of Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service unit for two years. He actively pursues new skills and techniques and his willingness to impart his knowledge and experience to those around him makes him an invaluable member of the service. He also plays an important role in the leadership team planning fire mitigation burns, training drills and emergency exercises. 

Team Achievement Award
Argyle Irishtown Bush Fire Brigade 
The Argyle Irishtown Bush Fire Brigade has worked closely with the community to increase fire mitigation and preparedness. Their extensive engagement has included community debriefs after incidents, working with residents to develop property assessment checklists and supporting street meets. These efforts have united residents and empowered individuals and families to take control of their safety.

WA Career Fire and Rescue Service Award
Andrew Seuren, South Coastal Regional Operations Support Officer 
Whilst finalising a comprehensive procedures manual for the Regional Operations Support Officer position, Andrew coordinated the successful relocation of the South Coast Regional Office from Cockburn headquarters to a new office in Kwinana. During this time, he also filled a number of acting District Officer positions and conducted volunteer drills and training sessions. 

For more information about the Firefighting Awards visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au/awards

 

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