Awards recognise hard work of emergency services

Find out who took home an award at last night's presentation

Brian Prince Award recipients
The 2019 Brian Prince Award recipients for Outstanding Service in The Emergency Services, Queensland Heath Bundaberg Hospital Dr Chris Barnes, Queensland Surf Life Saving Lynne Messer, Volunteer Marine Rescue Bill Ker, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Station Officer Trevor Duncan, State Emergency Services Caitlyn Simpkins, Queensland Ambulance Service Officer In Charge Kim Wilkinson, and Queensland Police Service Senior Constable Tim Clark.

Emergency services play a vital role in the Bundaberg Region community and the Brian Prince Awards recognises those local heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Queensland's emergency services are a necessity in every community from watching over us on our beaches to protecting us on the roads and streets.

Each year the Rotary club of Bundaberg East say thank you with the special Brian Prince Awards evening.

Bundaberg East Rotarian Brant Duff said the awards were now in its sixth year.

“The awards honour the work of frontline workers and personnel from the local Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, and Queensland Health, in particular the Emergency Department at the Bundaberg Hospital,” he said.

Each service nominates a person they believe deserves recognition for the work they do for the community.

The 2019 Brian Prince Award recipients for Outstanding Service in The Emergency Services:

QLD Police Senior Constable Tim Clark
Senior Constable Tim Clark (right) was the 2019 Brian Prince Award recipient for Outstanding Service in The Emergency Services for the Queensland Police Service.

Brian Prince Awards expand to recognise volunteers

This year the awards expanded to honour the effort and commitment of volunteers in emergency services.

Bundaberg East Rotary approached volunteer organisations including SES, Queensland Rural Fire Service, Volunteer Marine Rescue and Queensland Surf Life Saving and asked for nominations for Volunteer of The Year. 

Brant said four amazing finalists were put forward each with an outline detailing the fantastic effort and commitment of each. 

“Making a hard decision the committee had to choose one of the four to receive the overall Award,” Brant said.

“Not easy at all.”

Finalists for the Brian Prince Volunteer of The Year Awards

2019 Overall Brian Prince Volunteer of the Year

Bill Ker – Volunteer Marine Rescue

Brian Prince Volunteer of the Year Bill Ker
VMR veteran skipper, Bill Ker took out the 2019 Overall Volunteer of the Year. Photo VMR Bundaberg.

“We are always blown away by the stories of what these special people do, see, experience and how they go above and beyond to help protect and serve the community,” Brant said.

Congratulations from the Mayor

Mayor Jack Dempsey attended the awards, and he congratulated the recipients by saying all emergency service personnel in the Bundaberg Region were important.

“Brian was a remarkable man, and these awards show the affect he had on the community.

“These awards showcase the importance of emergency services across the community

“And the community has a chance with these awards to say thank you.”

Having worked in Emergency Services himself, Mayor Dempsey understands the impact to the families of emergency service workers and the community at times of difficulty.

“Emergency Service personnel need to know they have the support from the community,” he said.

Who is Brian Prince?

Brian Prince was a Rotarian who served in many positions of Rotary including club President and District Governor.

Brant said Brian was an active member of St John Ambulance and he joined as an 11-year-old, and he became a permanent staff member in 1966. 

“Brian served as a paramedic in several areas including around St George, Batemans Bay in NSW, Casino and Evans Head,” Brant said.

“He finally was stationed in Taree where among other duties he was a trainer and officer in charge.”

Brian was awarded the Serving Brother of St John Medal for his services and teacher of first aid for fifty years.

“Sadly, Brian passed away in 2014 in Bundaberg,” Brant said.

“The Rotary club of Bundaberg East decided to create awards for emergency services in honour of Brian.”