Local fire captain named in Australia Day Honours

Published: 26th January 2015

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) fire officer Andre Van Hoeck’s long and dedicated service as a firefighter has been recognised in today’s Australia Day Honours. A firefighter for 35 years – working as a retained, or on-call, firefighter with FRNSW and Captain of Bellingen Fire Station, Captain Van Hoeck has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

The AFSM is one of the highest honours an Australian firefighter can receive and Captain Van Hoeck was one of just three FRNSW firefighters awarded the prestigious medal.
FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins congratulated Captain Van Hoeck on the well-deserved recognition.

“Captain Van Hoeck is highly respected by firefighters at Bellingen Fire Station and the surrounding areas, and by his colleagues in the other emergency services and the local community,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“He has worked tirelessly within the community of Bellingen to reduce the number and severity of emergency incidents that impact on the residents. He has worked to forge strong ties between FRNSW and business owners, local government, schools and many community groups and is widely considered by many to be a community leader, role model and an outstanding citizen.

“Through his vast knowledge of the local area Andre is well recognised for his many initiatives, particularly during flood crisis events to ensure that Bellingen Fire Brigade can maintain a high level of service delivery to community. His initiatives have been responsible for greatly reducing property losses during many flood emergencies.”

Commissioner Mullins said Captain Van Hoeck is well known for his ethics and impeccable character and is recognised by senior management as someone who has the ability to take command of many and varied emergencies with the utmost professionalism.

“Captain Van Hoeck has served as a FRNSW firefighter with pride and distinction for 35 years and is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”

Captain Van Hoeck will be presented with his AFSM at a ceremony later in the year.