Australia Day medal for NSW fire investigator

Published: 26th January 2015

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Station Officer Phillip Etienne has spent the past 25 years providing fire and emergency protection to the people of NSW and today he was named in the Australia Day Honours, receiving the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

The AFSM is one of the highest honours an Australian firefighter can receive and Station Officer Etienne was one of just three FRNSW firefighters awarded the prestigious medal.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said Station Officer Etienne, a member of FRNSW’s Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIRU), was recognised as a world leader in the training and use of accelerant detection sniffer dogs and is a worthy recipient of the AFSM.

“Station Officer Etienne is dedicated to serving the community of NSW. During his 11-year period with FRNSW’s Fire investigation and Research Unit, he developed the FRNSW Canine Accelerant Detection Unit to the point where FRNSW now leads the way in this field in Australia and internationally,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Station Officer Etienne is regularly called upon to lecture to other fire and law enforcement agencies and tertiary institutions in Australia and overseas on the training and use of detection sniffer dogs to assist fire services in determining the cause and origin of fires involving accelerants.

“His expertise are widely respected and often sourced by the NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Police Force, the NSW Judicial System, Workcover NSW and the Insurance industry. He has lectured in North America, including presentations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE).”

“He is an internationally recognised leader and innovator within the fire investigation and research sectors of the emergency services and I congratulate him on this well deserved award.”

Station Officer Etienne lives in Five Dock and will be presented with his AFSM at a ceremony later in the year.