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Sunday, July 21, 2024

WA honours its fire heroes

A group of State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers that helped find a missing toddler at a remote cattle station and a firefighter who created a program for hearing-impaired children were among those honoured at the WA Fire and Emergency Services Awards on Saturday night. 

The annual awards recognise individuals and teams who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their role as emergency services personnel.

“Congratulations to all of the award recipients for their outstanding commitment to keeping their communities safe,” said Emergency Services Minister, Francis Logan.

“These people went above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating exceptional professionalism, leadership and dedication in their roles as emergency services personnel,” he said.

“Volunteer and career personnel have an integral role working together as first responders, saving lives and building safer communities.

“It is pleasing to see the achievements of youth recognised – they are the leaders of the future and it is imperative we support and encourage them in voluntary roles.”  

In the SES Awards category, Newman SES took out the Team Achievement Award for 2020, having played an integral role in finding a missing toddler on a flood-affected Pilbara cattle station in January. 

For his commitment to learning Auslan and developing a program to help hearing-impaired people prepare for emergencies, Senior Firefighter Michael Hatfield from Midland Fire Station received the Career Fire and Rescue Service Award.

Marine Rescue Coral Bay and Marine Rescue Exmouth received the Marine Rescue Award for Outstanding Group Operations, in recognition of their response when a vessel capsized in Coral Bay in the middle of the night. Tragically, two people lost their lives during this incident.

The Murray Lang Bush Fire Service Award went to Murray McGregor of Northam Central Bush Fire Brigade, who in less than 12 months expanded the membership of the new brigade from just three to 20 firefighters.

Jeremiah Peters was honoured with the Youth Achievement Award in the State Emergency Services Awards category, having taken on the role of Deputy Manager of Mount Barker SES at 19 years old. He has led the team during several incidents, including the successful rescue of six people in the Porongurup National Park.  

In a new category this year, Department of Fire and Emergency Services employee Shelley Staff was recognised for her contribution to COVID-19 operations, including developing the DFES Pandemic Response Plan which required extensive research and inter-agency collaboration.

Award recipients were recognised across four categories:

Marine Rescue Awards

Award for Outstanding Group Operations

Marine Rescue Coral Bay and Marine Rescue Exmouth

Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution

Graham Martin, Marine Rescue Rockingham

Award for Youth Achievement 

Thomas Knight, Marine Rescue Port Walcott

Volunteer Marine Rescue WA Commander Award

Vaughn Ralph and the crew of the Nebraska II

Department of Transport Award for Excellence in Marine Safety

Marine Rescue Naturaliste

Firefighting Awards

Murray Lang Bush Fire Service Award

Murray McGregor, Northam Central Bush Fire Brigade

WA Career Fire and Rescue Service Award

Michael Hatfield, Midland Fire Station

WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Award

Melanie McGoldrick, Lancelin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service

Team Achievement Award

Roleystone Bush Fire Brigade

Youth Achievement Award

Jordan McIntosh, Bunbury Bush Fire Brigade

State Emergency Service Awards

Peter Keillor Award

Tania Millar, Mandurah State Emergency Service

Team Achievement Award

Newman State Emergency Service

Youth Achievement Award  

Jeremiah Peters, Mount Barker State Emergency Service 

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Awards

DFES Operational Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution

Mark Spatocco, Communications Systems Officer

DFES Corporate Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution

Shelley Staff, Enterprise Risk Officer

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