Firefighters receive federal police award

Published: 4th December 2007

Two firefighters from the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) received awards today from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty for their actions during civil unrest in the Solomon Islands.

Senior Firefighter Michael Johnsen and Firefighter Peter Meier were recognised as part of a Commissioner's Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct, following their selfless actions during the Honiara riots between 18-19 April 2006.

The duo was part of a five-man team in Honiara conducting a NSWFB program to train locals in airport firefighting techniques.

Shortly after they arrived, however, riots began and took the NSWFB team away from their planned training and into action protecting lives and property.

Ongoing security issues prevented the training being carried out at the time and has only recently been completed.

Firefighters Johnsen and Meier were awarded their Citations as part of an AFP Investiture Ceremony held at Sydney's Masonic Centre, Sydney. All five members of the team have now received the prestigious award.

Commissioner Greg Mullins today congratulated the firefighters on their courageous actions.

"These firefighters have acted in the finest tradition of the NSWFB by helping our neighbours improve their firefighting ability and being prepared to step up in an emergency and help those most in need. They have done themselves and the Fire Brigades proud and are deserving recipients of the AFP award."

Mr Johnsen has continued his work in training as an Instructor, Recruit Training at the NSWFB State Training College, Alexandria. Mr Meier is part of the firefighting team at the Kogarah Fire Station.