44 firefighters honoured for bravery and dedication on St Florian’s Day - City of Sydney

Published: 04 May 2022 10:47am

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has recognised the courage and commitment of 44 firefighters today as it marks St Florian’s Day - the International Day of Firefighters.

St Florian is the Patron Saint of firefighters and the annual awards ceremony at the City of Sydney Fire Station recognises those who have shown remarkable bravery in an emergency.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter praised all firefighters across the state, acknowledging the challenges faced by firefighters over the last few years.

“St Florian’s Day allows FRNSW to honour the professionalism, service and courage of our firefighters with specific awards,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“The awards each year give FRNSW, on behalf of the community, a chance to say ‘thank you’ to those in our ranks who have gone above and beyond to ‘protect the irreplaceable.’”

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the firefighters honoured today have all put the community ahead of themselves.

“The common thread amongst all firefighters being recognised is their selflessness and community-mindedness, and on behalf of communities across NSW, I say thank you,” Ms Cooke said.

Among the recipients today are two firefighters who are receiving Commendations for Courageous Actions and Meritorious Service.
Senior Firefighter, Adam Long, was attending a fatal house fire in Evaline Street, Campsie on 30 March 2021 when, through a window, he identified a person trapped inside.
Senior Firefighter Long, from Burwood Fire Station, used rescue shears to cut through and remove a security grill.
He then removed the person through the open window whilst being exposed to acrid smoke and extreme heat.
Two residents were safely removed from the home. Sadly, a third person did not survive the blaze.
Senior Firefighter, Matthew Diegutis, from Engadine Fire Station, has also been awarded the same commendations for saving the life of a female trapped in a house fire at Fairy Meadow on 19 May 2021.
Several residents had made it out of the property safely as fire crews arrived.
But the female occupant, who was phoning Triple Zero (000) at the time, fell unconscious in a front bedroom of the burning home.
Amid fears of an imminent explosion of fire, Senior Firefighter Diegutis entered the room through a window.
Unable to see anything and facing extreme heat, he felt the female’s hair and dragged her body to the window where his colleagues helped him extricate the victim.
NSW Ambulance paramedics successfully revived her.
Five of Matthew’s colleagues, from the Wollongong and Bulli Fire Stations, have also received a Unit Commendation for Meritorious Service.

Eleven firefighters have been awarded the Meritorious Service Commendation for their brave actions at a house fire in Royston Street, Darlinghurst on 26 August 2020.
The first responders, from City of Sydney, Darlinghurst and Alexandria Fire Stations, acted seamlessly as a team, displaying the core values of FRNSW, in attacking the blaze, rescuing and then resuscitating an unconscious, non-responsive resident.

Five firefighters have received the Commissioner’s Resuscitation Award for saving the life of a toddler near the City of Sydney Fire Station on 12 October 2020.
A member of the public approached the firefighters and led them to the girl who was unconscious and convulsing.
The child wasn’t breathing.
The team worked together, calming her distraught parents as it applied oxygen and continued life support for nine minutes until NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived.
The toddler had fallen and hit her head minutes earlier.
In addition, eight firefighters from the Merrylands and Yennora Fire Stations were responding to a fire alarm in Addelstone Road, Merrylands on 15 May 2020 when they discovered an elderly man collapsed in an apartment.
The crews commenced CPR and applied six shocks from a defibrillator, before NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived.
The firefighters continued to aid the man’s revival as he was carried to an ambulance.
The man survived the incident.
The crews have also received the Commissioner’s Resuscitation Award.
Six firefighters, from the Newcastle and Lambton Fire Stations, have been awarded Commendations for Meritorious Service for their courage and professionalism during a rescue at the Nobbys Beach break-wall on 31 May 2021.
A passer-by called Triple Zero (000) when he heard a man screaming for help.
The distressed person had been knocked over and injured by huge waves at the break-wall.
As emergency services arrived, the victim was washed into the sea and disappeared in the large swells.
One of the firefighters entered the water and shielded the victim, who was wedged in a rock formation, but he too was injured, battered by the waves.
An additional FRNSW team arrived and both men were recovered from the water.
The victim suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs, back injuries, cuts and abrasions.
The passer-by and two responding lifeguards have also received Commissioner’s Commendation Certificates and letters of appreciation.
Seven firefighters have received Commendations for Meritorious Service for rescuing a man from a trench collapse at Wallerawang on 4 April 2021.
A father and son were clearing dirt beneath a concrete slab at a home in Walker Drive when a section of wet soil collapsed, burying the younger man.
The father tried to dig his son out and was soon joined by an off-duty police officer, who was also an On-call firefighter.
FRNSW crews rushed to the scene and freed the top half of the younger man’s body.
They applied CPR and a defibrillator as the mud created a suction effect on the injured man.
Police helped the crews pull the patient free.
Firefighters continued to apply CPR until paramedics arrived.
The victim was airlifted to hospital but later died of his injuries.
Senior Firefighter, Sam Monaghan, from Burwood Fire Station has been recognised for his body of work benefitting his fellow firefighters who deal with road crashes.

Sam made successful submissions to Transport for NSW to have identification markers fitted on NSW number plates to identify electric vehicles.

That outcome now assists fire crews as they determine how to best extinguish electrical fires at road crashes.

Sam has also arranged for car wrecks to be donated to FRNSW for road crash rescue training.

Senior Firefighter Monaghan has been awarded a Commendation for Meritorious Service for his dedicated efforts.

Updated: 04 May 2022 10:47am

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