Fire and Rescue NSW Captain farewelled after 45 years of service - Salamander Bay

Published: 09 Jul 2024 09:35am

A popular Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighter has hung up his helmet after 45 years of dedicated service to the community.

Salamander Bay Captain, Malcolm Smith's four-and-a-half decades of service was formally recognised at a weekend retirement function at the Nelson Bay Golf Club, attended by firefighting colleagues from across the state.

The venue was a familiar one for Malcolm.

In 2015, he and his crew worked through the night to tackle a huge fire that ultimately devastated the building.

Within the walls of the refurbished club, the retiring Captain was presented with his certificate of service by FRNSW Deputy Commissioner, Paul McGuiggan AFSM.

In attendance was The Hon. Kate Washington MP, who thanked Malcolm and his family on behalf of the NSW community for their tireless commitment to helping create a safer NSW.

Deputy Commissioner McGuiggan has expressed his gratitude for Malcolm’s dedication to FRNSW, as well as the Salamander Bay and broader community.

“Malcolm joined our ranks in 1979, right on the cusp of technological advancements such as breathing apparatus, radio communications, safer uniforms and mobile phones – he’s seen it all,” Deputy Commissioner McGuiggan said.

“Malcolm has become a mentor to those around him, with many learning from his extensive operational experience.

“These traits are something that FRNSW truly values, and while we’re happy for Malcolm to enjoy the next phase of life, it’s bittersweet to be losing such a great leader."

While the job has changed a lot over the years, Malcolm is proud of the essential role FRNSW plays in helping the community.

“When I started 45 years ago, we basically responded to bushfires, house and structure fires, and the odd car accident.

"Now, we respond to so much more – from rescue incidents to HAZMAT, assisting ambulance… we’ve even had to rescue reptiles from homes,” Captain Smith said.

“The job has become quite broad compared to what it was when I started out.”

When asked about the advice he’d give to up-and-coming firefighters, Malcolm suggests staying open minded.

“Something new always pops up.

"When you think you know it all, there's always something different for you to learn or experience,“ he said.

After dedicating much of his life to helping his community on their toughest days, Malcolm is looking forward to spending more time with his 10 grandchildren, travelling and pursuing his love of motorsports.

Updated: 09 Jul 2024 09:44am

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Stations nearby


194 Salamander way, Salamander Bay NSW 2317

TEA GARDENS Fire Station

135 Marine Drive, Tea Gardens NSW 2324


3-5 Leisure Way, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324