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Tamworth fire officer recognised in Australia Day Honours

Published: 26th January 2019

A firefighter’s 31-year commitment to community safety and mentoring firefighters in the Tamworth area has been recognised in today’s Australia Day Honours.

Superintendent Alan (Tom) Cooper has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), the highest honour an Australian firefighter can receive.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Acting Commissioner Jim Hamilton congratulated Superintendent Cooper, who is one of three FRNSW firefighters to be awarded the prestigious medal in today’s honours.

“Superintendent Cooper consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty in his role as our Tamworth Zone Commander,” said Acting Commissioner Hamilton.

“He offers unerring leadership and availability, 24 hours a day, 7 day a week, and also provides the human touch required to sustain the 21 fire stations and more than 300 firefighters across his command.”

Starting out as a firefighter with FRNSW in 1987, Superintendent Cooper served as a firefighter, Station Officer and Inspector before taking on his current role as commander of a Zone that spans from the Queensland border at Tenterfield, across to Moree and down to Tamworth in the south.

In less than two years, Superintendent Cooper has helped implement 24/7 staffing at Tamworth Fire Station and gained approval for the construction of a new fire station in South Tamworth.

He has also helped forge a strong partnership with the local Aboriginal community, which has seen Aboriginal artwork featured on fire trucks and firefighters and Indigenous leaders working together on fire safety initiatives to ensure a safer, more confident and resilient community.

“Thanks to his drive, passion and selflessness, Superintendent Cooper has made a positive impact on many communities across NSW,” said Acting Commissioner Hamilton.

“He is highly regarded among emergency service workers for his knowledge and dedication to helping others in their time of need and he is a most deserving recipient of this Australia Day Honour.”

Superintendent Cooper will be presented with his AFSM at a ceremony later in the year.