Nine Bundaberg Region firefighters were honoured today at the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services medal presentation with service medals for their years of dedication, including two National Medals for 30 years.
Assistant Commissioner Gary McCormack addressed the ceremony.
He said the medals were significant not only for the individual firefighters, but for the families who had supported the recipients during their roles of serving QFES and their communities that they protected and served.
Gaeta Rural Fire Service member Robert Burgess had a tear in his eye as he shared his story about joining the service many years ago.
“I was only told about this a few hours a go, I was very surprised,” Robert said.
“I am so proud to have received this and I wish my wife was here, but she passed away three years ago and she was a rural firefighter too.”
The proud 74-year-old said the Gaeta Rural Fire Service only became a brigade around 1993-94 and that’s when he joined.
“We started the fire brigade out at Gaeta back in the nineties and I wasn’t in any service before that,” Robert said.
“We had very few people out there and the first fires started and we had a tractor and an old fuel tank that we made in to a water tank and towed it behind the tractor and a tandem trailer.
“And we all turned up at the fires and put them out … that’s how it all started.”
Robert said the National Medal was an honour and he would be pass it onto his children who would be very proud of him.
“I am just very pleased with it,” he said.
“If my misses was alive she would be wrapped. She had a got a service medal a few years ago too.”
Service medals for firefighters
- Peter Mapson, Senior Firefighter Bundaberg Fire Station
- Robert Burgess, Rural Firefighter Gaeta Rural Fire Brigade
First Clasp to National Medal
- Curtis Yates, Station Officer Bundaberg Fire Station
- Mark St Ledger, Senior Firefighter Bundaberg Fire Station
- Michael Kearny, Rural Firefighter Tirroan Rural Fire Brigade
Second Clasp to National Medal
- Colin Morrow, Senior Firefighter Bundaberg Fire Station
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Medal
- Mark Sugars Auxiliary Firefighter Burnett Heads Fire Station
- Leanne Rogers Auxiliary Lieutenant Burnett Heads Fire Station
- Andrea Holzel Auxiliary Lieutenant Bargara Fire Station
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Craig Crawford, congratulated all of the recipients.
“A number of awards are going out to different members and it’s great to be able to have an opportunity like this among colleagues, among friends and family and to be able to celebrate that; it’s very important,” Mr Crawford said.
The ceremony also saw eight appliances handed over to local brigades.
Mr Crawford said the eight appliances cost $200,000 each and were valued at $1.6 million.
- Rates concession for Rural Fire Brigades