Gladesville fire investigator recognised in Australia Day Honours

Published: 26th January 2019

A Gladesville firefighter’s 24-year commitment to community safety and investigating the cause and origin of fires has been recognised in today’s Australia Day Honours.

Leading Station Officer Michael Forbes 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 LSO Forbes, who is one of three FRNSW firefighters to be awarded the prestigious medal in today’s honours.

“LSO Forbes is recognised throughout Australia and internationally for his immense knowledge, passion and dedication to the highly specialised and demanding field of fire investigation,” said Acting Commissioner Hamilton.

“He has served as the lead fire investigator at many high-profile incidents, from the Blue Mountains bushfires in 2013 to the Rozelle convenience store explosion and fire in 2014, helping to resolve investigations and enhancing our understanding of the cause of fires.”

Starting with FRNSW in 1994, LSO Forbes served as a firefighter before joining the Fire Investigation and Research Unit and taking on his current role of Team Leader Fire Investigation in 2013.

He is also the president of the NSW Association of Fire Investigators and is frequently called upon to train other agencies in fire investigation, including NSW Police, the Australian Federal Police and interstate fire services.

Most recently, he delivered specialist fire investigation training to the Solomon Islands Fire Service in 2018.

“LSO Forbes has been a mentor to many investigators and has continued to apply his professional learnings to our critical fire investigation function, working to embrace new technologies and improve our methods of gathering data at fire scenes,” said Acting Commissioner Hamilton.

“He is one of our preeminent experts in fire investigation and a most-deserving recipient of this Australia Day Honour.”

LSO Forbes will be presented with his AFSM at a ceremony later in the year.