Published: 27th January 2009

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Acting Commissioner John Benson today congratulated Assistant Commissioner Mark Brown on receiving the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) in the 2009 Australia Day Honours.

Assistant Commissioner Brown, who is the Director of the NSWFB's regional operations, was one of three NSW Fire Brigade officers awarded the AFSM today, one of the highest honours an Australian firefighter can receive.

Acting Commissioner Benson said that since joining the NSWFB in 1981, Assistant Commissioner Brown had been an exceptional leader and an innovator in modifying and adapting the NSWFB's capability in regional areas of NSW to the changing roles and dynamic operating environment ofthe NSWFB.

"Assistant Commissioner Brown has displayed outstanding professionalism throughout his 27-yearcareer in the NSWFB.

"His commitment to workforce consultation and team building has resulted in a positive shift in workplace culture and work practices and he has gained widespread respect within the NSWFB and in other emergency service organisations."

Assistant Commissioner Brown, who was appointed to the position of Director of Regional Operations in November 2006, spent 12 months with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia and studied at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, USA.

Acting Commissioner Benson said Assistant Commissioner Brown’s extensive experience andcommitment to continuous learning was an invaluable asset to the NSWFB.

"As the Director of Regional Operations, Assistant Commissioner Brown has delivered several strategic initiatives which have directly influenced our approach to planning, preparedness and response to fires and other emergencies in regional NSW.

"He has also worked hard to establish closer working relationships between the NSWFB and other emergency services which have resulted in a number of initiatives that have benefited all agencies in the public safety sector and the community of NSW.

"Assistant Commissioner Brown is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award and I congratulate him and thank him for his dedication and commitment to the NSWFB," Acting Commissioner Benson said.