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Ingleburn Fire Station Captain commended

Published: 8th August 2012

Ingleburn Fire Station Captain Louis Hese was today recognised for his work distributing specialised smoke alarms for the deaf and hearing impaired in the Campbelltown community.

On Wednesday, 8 August, Captain Hese was presented with the Commissioner’s Commendation for Meritorious Service at Campbelltown RSL Club.

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Greg Mullins applauded Captain Hese’s commitment to those who are hard of hearing.

“Captain Hese recognised that people with a hearing impairment were paying $500 for specialised smoke alarms when standard smoke alarms cost up to $50. I commend him on his dedication to the community and thank him for his efforts to secure and install specialised smoke alarms for the hearing impaired,” Commissioner Mullins said.

In 2006, Captain Hese applied for an NRMA community grant to distribute specialised smoke alarms to people with hearing impairments in the Campbelltown community. He was successful and received a $5000 grant, which covered the cost of 10 specialised smoke alarms with vibrating under-pillow pads and strobe lights.

Captain Hese and his crew then installed them in the homes of people with a hearing impairment with the help of Campbelltown Council and Deaf Heal’f.

“We did it again in 2007 and got another grant, which enabled us to install a further 10 alarms,” Captain Hese said.

“I just felt that people with a hearing impairment shouldn’t be unfairly penalised and we were lucky enough to be able to make a difference to the safety and lives of a handful of people in the community who are hard of hearing.”

Through his efforts, Captain Hese helped support the Smoke Alarm Subsidy Scheme, which was launched by NSW Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance on 1 August.

Through the $2 million scheme, those who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing can apply for the specialised and heavily subsidised smoke alarms. The scheme is a joint initiative between the Deaf Society of NSW and FRNSW, with funding from Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC).

For information and application forms visit this website: http://www.deafsocietynsw.org.au/smokealarms/