Fire brigade staff from National Parks and Wildlife Service CFS on the Limestone Coast were recently recognised for their stellar efforts during the 2019-20 Australian Black Summer bushfires.
A group of 19 brigade members were awarded National Emergency Medals and Clasps for their efforts in combating the fires, which were declared a national emergency on2 December 2020. The brigade members are from the Department for Environment and Water and the Limestone Coast Landscape Board.
The National Emergency Medal is awarded by the Governor General of Australia to those who gave ‘sustained or significant service during nationally-significant emergencies in Australia’.
During the Black Summer fires, members of the brigade were deployed across the country, from New South Wales to Queensland and back home in South Australia as operational firefighters and members of incident management teams.
Closer to home, two fires occurred on the Limestone Coast region at Bunbury and Keilira during the national emergency.
The NPWS fire brigade members were presented with their medals by outgoing Region 5 CFS Commander John Probert.
NPWS Limestone Coast Manager Nick McIntyre said having a person such as Commander Probert attend and present the medals was highly appreciated and symbolises the close working relationships and joint commitment to combating fire that has developed between CFS and NPWS over time.
“Although our resources, along with CFS staff and crews were completely stretched during this time, it was important that NPWS brigade staff were available to support the firefighting efforts and relieve pressure on the community and CFS volunteer members,” Nick said.
“There would have been many of our crew and CFS members who were totally exhausted following their service in combating these large fires, and we commend each and everyone one of them.”