Queen's Birthday Honours for Byron Bay Fire Captain

Published: 14th June 2011

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins today congratulated the Captain of Byron Bay Fire Brigade, Warren Ernest Simmons, on being named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Commissioner Mullins said Captain Simmons has proudly served the community of Byron Bay and the state of New South Wales for 33 years, through his service with both FRNSW and many community groups.

“Captain Simmons joined the Byron Bay Fire Brigade in 1978 and quickly earned the respect of his firefighting colleagues,” Commissioner Mullins said.

He was appointed Deputy Captain in January 1993, and Captain in August 2000.

“Byron Bay is renowned as a tourist destination and has many and varied accommodation facilities,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“On his own initiative, Captain Simmons has instigated regular and thorough fire safety blitzes and inspections of the accommodation premises around the Byron Bay area to ensure the safety of visitors, particularly young people who seek low cost accommodation.

“Captain Simmons and his crew are regular visitors to the many schools, nursing homes and community groups in Byron Bay pushing vital fire prevention messages.

“His advice and proactive help to the local community has greatly contributed to the fire safety of the north coast region of NSW.”

Captain Simmons was one of only three FRNSW recipients of the prestigious Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

“Through his leadership, the Byron Bay fire crew has successfully dealt with many major emergencies - including the tragic truck accident on New Years Eve, 2010, when a tanker with 40,000 litres of fuel ignited in flames, closing the highway for many hours,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“These awards are Australia’s way of thanking the recipients – along with all the members of our emergency services – for their hard work and commitment to serving our community.”

“None of our firefighters perform these roles for public recognition but the contribution they make to protecting our community deserves our gratitude.”