Queen's Birthday Honours to Emergency Service workers

Published: 14th June 2011

Police and Emergency Service Minister Michael Gallacher has congratulated ten NSW Emergency Services personnel who have received awards today as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Six NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) members and three Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) officers have been awarded the Australian Fire Services Medal, one of the highest honours for Australian fire fighters.

A member of the NSW State Emergency Service has also been awarded the Emergency Services Medal for her contribution to the community.

"These medals are in recognition of the ongoing hard work and dedication demonstrated by emergency service workers across NSW", Mr Gallacher said

"I would like to express the sincere gratitude of both the NSW Government and the people of this State for the contribution made by each of the recipients.

"Whether they are volunteers or paid officers, these dedicated individuals have, and continue to show, a steadfast commitment to the protection of the people of NSW during times of emergency - a commitment, which at times poses a risk to their own personal safety.

"As well as responding to all manner of emergencies including flood, fire, road accidents and rescue efforts, the recipients recognised here today also sacrifice time with their families and friends to assist with local community events and public education.

"Whilst none of our emergency services personnel undertake their role for public recognition or accolades these medals represent the community's gratitude for their vital work.

"Today these men and women are acknowledged by a nation that appreciates their contribution and commitment, and I congratulate each and everyone of them", Mr Gallacher concluded.



Station Officer John Tapper
Station Officer John Tapper has served for 37 years with Fire and Rescue NSW, where he has dedicated his service to the specialist field of breathing apparatus and rendering safe hazardous material incidents. He has attended thousands of hazardous materials incidents throughout his career, where his skills, knowledge and ingenuity have proved invaluable. His distinguished service is of the highest order.
Chief Superintendent Richard (Rick) Griffiths 
Chief Superintendent Griffiths has served with dedication and distinction over a period of nearly 35 years. He is currently the Assistant Director Education and Training, and has served in a wide variety of operational and specialist positions, and over the last decade. He is a highly qualified and educated manager, and a highly competent commander in emergency situations such as the 2003 Canberra bushfire disaster where he led the NSW Fire Brigades contingent. He is recognized both nationally and internationally in the fire and rescue community as a leader and innovator, and is very highly respected.
Captain Warren Ernest Simmons 
Captain Warren Ernest Simmons joined Fire and Rescue NSW, Byron Bay Station in 1978. He and his crew are regular visitors to the many schools, nursing homes and community groups in Byron Bay. His advice and proactive help to the local community has greatly contributed to the fire safety of the northern coast region of NSW. For over 32 years, through his service with FRNSW and his involvement with many community groups, Captain Simmons has proudly served the community of Byron Bay and the state of New South Wales.


Captain Judee Bryant
Ms Bryant has been a dedicated member of the NSW Rural Fire Service for 30 years and is currently the Captain of the South Durras Rural Fire Brigade on the far south coast. She has been influential in raising funds for the Eurobodalla Training Centre for over 20 years, a centre utilised by local brigades and other agencies including the CSIRO and Police. Judee continues to contribute extensively to the coordination and delivery of training to both local and out of area brigades.

Jeffrey Cree
Mr Cree has been a valued member of the NSW Rural Fire Service for 41 years and has held a field officer position for 38 of those years. He has attended fires across NSW as well as being deployed as a Task Force leader to fires in Victoria and South Australia. Mr Cree remains an active member of the Davidson Brigade in the Warringah/Pittwater District and continues to assist in district based training and raising the awareness of fire safety and the NSW RFS in the community.

Group Captain Norman Carter
Mr Carter has been a member of the Gloucester district of the NSW Rural Fire District since 1960 and continues providing active service as the Group Captain. He represents volunteers on the local Bush Fire Management Committee and is actively involved with the annual inspection and maintenance of fire trails. His superior leadership and communications skills continue to hold him in high regard with his fellow volunteers.

Superintendent David Hoadley
Superintendent Hoadley joined the Blayney Rural Fire Brigade in 1969 before being appointed as the part time fire control officer for the Blayney Shire Council in 1992. In 2001 he was appointed manager after playing a significant role in the development of the Canobolas Zone responsible for the Blayney, Cabonne and Orange areas. Mr Hoadley has been a strong advocate for volunteers playing a significant role in the strategic direction of the Service.

Roy Stacy
Mr Stacy fought bushfires in the Blue Mountains with the RAAF before officially joining the bush fire service in 1947. He was instrumental in establishing the Kooba Bush Fire Brigade and remained captain for 13 years before moving to Griffith Brigade where he remains an active member of the executive. Mr Stacy was awarded the Griffith community Citizen of the Year in 1990 and Lifetime Volunteer of the Year in 2009.

Group Captain Grahame Fothergill
Mr Fothergill joined the Service with the Farmborough Heights Brigade in 1977 where he held the position of Captain for 20 years before being appointed as Group Captain five years ago, a position he still holds today. He has attended fires across NSW and interstate. Mr Fothergill provides the highest level of dedication and commitment to his fellow volunteers and ensures the welfare and needs of his crews come before his personal well-being. He is widely respected and a great ambassador of the Service.
Mrs Jennifer Ann North 
Mrs North joined the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) in 1991 and has provided exceptional service to the organisation in the Operations Branch at the State Headquarters in Wollongong. Mrs North has held key positions on the SES's State Operations Centre through more than 350 flood and 80 storm events, and has been extensively involved in the operational response for every major SES operation since 1991, including the Thredbo landslide, Sydney bushfires, Sydney hailstorm, storms and floods in the Hunter region and floods in western New South Wales. Mrs North has also played a key role in a number of projects including the development of the SES's 132500 telephone service, involvement in the planning for World Youth Day in 2008, and the development of the SES online information system for which she received a commendation.