WHAT A YEAR: Local fireys recognised in state award
A TEAM of local firefighters were amazed to be recognised by the state commissioner in the St Florian Day awards on Monday.
The Rural Fire Service’s Far North Coast senior management team were one of just five units across the state to receive the Commissioner’s Certificate of Commendation.
The team of volunteers directs RFS operations in Tweed, Byron and Ballina shires.
“It means a great deal to them to be recognised by the commissioner, especially considering the year we’ve had,” district manager superintendent David Cook said.
“It is for continually exceeding assigned duties and responsibilities.”
The team of volunteers is comprised of group officer Michael Cooper, group officer Kenneth (Mark) Eglington, group officer Robert Graham, group captain Franco Zambelli and deputy group captain Raymond Collyer.
These five members have dedicated a combined 55 years to senior management, and 170 years of service to the RFS in total.
The awards coincide with the Feast Day of St Florian, Patron Saint of Firefighters and International Firefighters’ Day.
This year, while members could not gather to acknowledge the worthy recipients in person, Commissioner Rob Rogers has written to each member with a formal ceremony to be held at a later date.
“The past 12 months has been an incredibly difficult and testing time for many of our members,” commissioner Rogers said.
“Firefighters have been working through drought, the fire season and the now the COVID outbreak.
“It’s important that we stop to recognise the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices our volunteers make each and every day to serve their communities.”