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Australia Day honours for local firefighter

Published: 26th January 2013

During his 32 year career, Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Station Officer Wayne Staples has trained hundreds of firefighters, been part of an urban search and rescue team deployed to Taiwan and searched the rubble of the Thredbo landslide for survivors.

On Australia Day, Station Officer Staples was recognised for his leadership and commitment, receiving the Australian Fire Service Medal as part of the annual Australia Day Honours.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said Station Officer Staples, who has been the Senior Instructor on the Mid North Coast since 2003, was one of three FRNSW fire officers to receive the award.

"The Australian Fire Service Medal is one of the highest honours an Australian firefighter can receive and I am extremely proud of all the FRNSW recipients.

"Station Officer Staples has been a leader in the field of rescue within FRNSW, developing training packages which have been used across the workforce and contributed towards the development of a specialised urban search and rescue support vehicle, which is the largest vehicle of its kind in Australia. He also played a key role in the development of rescue equipment which FRNSW rescue units use today."

Station Officer Staples joined FRNSW, then NSW Fire Brigades, in January 1981, and was promoted to the position of Station Officer in April 1996. Since then he has worked all over NSW training firefighters in rescue and other disciplines essential to the job of firefighting.

Commissioner Mullins congratulated Station Officer Staples on his award.

"Station Officer Staples is widely respected within FRNSW and by his colleagues at other emergency services. His leadership, commitment and positivity have been infectious amongst the firefighters he has worked with across the state, particularly on the Mid North Coast.

"He is a worthy recipient of this award and I congratulate him on this achievement and thank him for his service."

Station Officer Staples will be presented with his medal in a ceremony at Government House later in the year.