Dedicated Bundaberg firefighter David Spratling has been named the State Volunteer of the Year with Rural Fire Service Week 2021 underway.
Every special family occasion the now retired Booyan Rural Fire Brigade’s First Officer missed was because of his immense dedication to the community, and the Rural Fire Service.
It was 21 years ago when David joined Booyan RFB, and in the ensuing decades he was instrumental in protecting the community against fire, as well as building the brigade’s infrastructure and training new members to the service.
David’s list of personal accomplishments in the RFS is long, and recognition was deserved, but he said the award still humbled him.
“No one puts out a fire on their own. It’s always a team effort,” David said.
“I joined the RFS all those years ago as a way to meet people in the area.
“It has led to a long career encompassing everything from local and interstate deployments through to training new recruits.
“There are skills I’ve learned that have served me well in other areas of my life.”
David received the award for operational excellence in his role as First Officer and his dedication and commitment to the Booyan Rural Fire Brigade and the local community.
David Spratling has now hung up his boots after giving tirelessly to the QFES, RFS and his community, and he can retire knowing Booyan RFB moves forward in excellent shape.
There will now be more time for his loving wife Sandra and his adoring granddaughter as well as spending time on the water fishing.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Greg Leach said it was a privilege to recognise the volunteers for their hard work.
“One of the ways we recognise our volunteers during RFS Week is through our Volunteer of the Year awards. This year we have also introduced the Young Volunteer of the Year Award because these inspiring young people are the future,” Mr Leach said.
“This year’s two state winners include a volunteer at the start of her RFS career and another who is retiring after more than two decades of service, both of whom are perfect examples of our diverse volunteer community.”
The inaugural State Young Volunteer of the Year Award was won by Wanda Kropp from Hazeldean Brigade, in the Somerset Region.
RFS personnel recognised for service
A medal presentation was held in Bundaberg recently to recognise the distinguished service and outstanding contributions of 34 Rural Fire Service (RFS) members.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan MP was represented by Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith MP at the event who said the incredible group of recipients were testament to the strong sense of community that exists in the region.
“These medal recipients are not only long-standing members of the RFS, but valued members of our community as well,” Mr Smith said.
“Rural firefighters play a vital role in supporting their community in the management of local risk, including responding to grass and bushfires and planning and conducting bushfire hazard reduction activities.
“They also answer the call for help during natural disasters throughout Queensland and interstate.”
The well-deserving RFS members were presented with National Medals and Clasps, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Medals, Diligent and Ethical Service Medals and Clasps and National Emergency Medals.
“Each of them has given extraordinary service that goes above and beyond the normal expectations of their role,” he said.
“They do this not for thanks or recognition, but because they are committed to working hand-in-hand with their communities to build resilience.”
Rural Fire Service medal recipients:
- Mark Russell, Bundaberg area, National Medal, QFES Medal, National Emergency Medal
- Janene Scott, Wallaville RFB, National Medal
- Brian Scott, Wallaville RFB, National Medal
- David Scott, Wallaville RFB, National Medal
- Andrew Galea, Bungadoo RFB, National Medal
- David Hammond, South Kolan RFB, National Medal, QFES Medal
- John Dean, South Kolan RFB, National Medal, 1st Clasp
- Darryl Johnstone, Goodwood RFB, National Medal, 1st Clasp
- Greg Tennant, Buxton RFB, QFES Medal
- Kerry McAuley, Buxton RFB, DESMS 1st Clasp
- Tara Ellem, Branyan RFB, National Emergency Medal
- Jeffrey Maeyke, Childers RFB, National Emergency Medal
- David Morton, Bungadoo RFB, National Emergency Medal
- Billie Morton, Bungadoo RFB, National Emergency Medal
- David Spratling, Booyan RFB (EX), National Emergency Medal
- Mal Schumacher, Buxton RFB, National Emergency Medal
- David Fleming, Bingera Weir RFB, National Emergency Medal
- Gavin Fryar, Ret. QFES, National Emergency Medal
- John Dowling, Woodgate RFB, DESM 1st Clasp
- Peter Vicenzotti, Calavos RFB (Ret), QFES Medal, 1st Clasp
- Robert Ruddock, Burnett Heads RFB, QFES Medal
- Andrew Anderson, Boolboonda RFB, QFES Medal
- Neil Much, Boolboonda RFB, QFES Medal, 1st Clasp
- Andrew Coleman, Calavos RFB, QFES Medal
- Edgar Baker, Boolboonda FWD, QFES Medal
- Michael Small, Childers FWD, QFES Medal, 1st Clasp, 2nd Clasp
- Rodney Moller (deceased) Bungadoo RFB, National Medal, 1st Clasp, 2nd Clasp
- Jeremy Nyberg, volunteer (ex), Burnett Heads RFB, National Emergency Medal
- Nigel Terrell, volunteer, Woodgate RFB, National Emergency Medal
- Lawrence Galea, volunteer, Bungadoo RFB, National Medal, 1st Clasp, 2nd Clasp
- William Ives, volunteer, Booyan RFB, QFES Medal
- Andrew Galea, volunteer, Bungadoo RFB, National Medal
- Christopher Fitzsimons, volunteer, Goodwood RFB, QFES Medal
- Aaron Lawrence, volunteer, Branyan RFB, National Emergency Medal
Other news: Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon sneak peek for lucky locals