Bravery honoured as new recruits join ranks

Published: 20th May 2011

The brave actions of a fire and rescue officer and a married couple were recognised at the graduation ceremony for 20 new Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) recruits at the State Training College at Alexandria today.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said, "Today's ceremony not only celebrates these recruits' successful completion of the challenging 12-week FRNSW training course, but also the outstanding commitment and service of fire and rescue officers and members of the community".

Commissioner Mullins paid tribute to Bill and Kamar Zraika, of Rossmore, who were awarded Commissioner's Commendations.

"Mr and Mrs Zraika put their own safety at risk to help two critically injured men, both with major burns and one also suffering lacerations, and a traumatised woman after a shed explosion and fire at Kemps Creek on 14 October, 2010," Commissioner Mullins said. *

Senior Firefighter Matthew Daylight was presented with an Individual Commendation for Meritorious Service for assisting at the scene of a serious two-vehicle accident on the Great Western Highway near Lithgow on 6 April, 2010.

"Firefighter Daylight assisted a badly injured man and helped coordinate the emergency services response, including finding a suitable landing area for a rescue helicopter which he guided to safety with a flare," Commissioner Mullins said. *

Commissioner Mullins also acknowledged the professional efforts of Inspector Peter Nugent and Senior Firefighter Richard Spiteri by presenting them with Individual Commendations for Meritorious Service for their work in fire safety.

National Medals and clasps were also presented to fire and rescue officers for diligent long service.

The National Medal is awarded to personnel with 15 years' service and clasps are awarded for every additional 10-year period.

National Medal recipients were Maitland Retained Firefighter Murray Allsop, Glebe Senior Firefighter Michael Egan, Bulli Firefighter Christopher Jay, The Entrance Station Captain Jason Knauer and Leichhardt Station Officer Andrew Ticehurst.

Gosford Station Officer Peter Jentsch and Balgownie Deputy Captain Neil Parsons were each presented with a second clasp to the National Medal.

Commissioner Mullins said today’s graduation ceremony was the first for 2011.

"I am especially pleased to see evidence that more women are considering a career in fire and rescue, with five female recruits graduating today," he said.

"Part of the job's appeal is that it offers incredible diversity every day.

"Fire and rescue officers not only save people from burning buildings and road accidents but also have expertise ranging from fire investigation to educating and providing advice to the community on fire safety."

Commissioner Mullins said the graduates had been trained in firefighting, road accident rescue, advanced first aid and resuscitation, community safety education, fire technology and hazardous materials management.

He said the recruits were from a range of backgrounds and brought diverse talents and skills to the FRNSW workforce.

"Among today’s graduates are a former female professional surfer, rugby league player, police officer, Defence Force members, miner, chiropractor, tradesmen and fitness instructors," he said.

The firefighters will take up positions across the Sydney metropolitan area:

Firefighter - Station
  • Belinda Scott - City of Sydney
  • David McCartney - Newtown
  • Jessica Grimwood - City of Sydney
  • Nathan Spare - Northmead
  • Kirby Mowbray - City of Sydney
  • Samuel McEwan - Redfern
  • Matthew Cochrane - City of Sydney
  • Riley Farlow - Rydalmere
  • Daniel McGuire - City of Sydney
  • Daniel Harvey - Rydalmere
  • Mitchell Wilson - Drummoyne
  • Steven McGrory - Ryde
  • Luke Jackson - Guildford
  • Jacob Addison - Silverwater
  • Christopher Hall - Kellyville
  • Ariel Leonard - Smithfield
  • Mitchell Bennetts - Maroubra
  • Robert Peirce - The Rocks
  • Ryan Lear - Mt Druitt
  • Vesna Aleksic - Woollahra