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Northern Beaches firefighter recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Published: 10th June 2019

A Northern Beaches firefighter’s commitment to community safety and supporting the careers of women firefighters has been recognised in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Station Officer Bronnie Mackintosh of Cromer has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), the highest honour an Australian firefighter can receive.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Paul Baxter congratulated Station Officer Mackintosh, who is one of four FRNSW firefighters to be awarded the prestigious medal in today’s honours.

“During her 16 years of exemplary service, Station Officer Mackintosh has been a driving force behind a number of important projects designed to encourage women’s involvement in firefighting,” said Commissioner Baxter.

Joining FRNSW in 2002, Station Officer Mackintosh worked in a range of operational roles gaining extensive experience as a firefighter and communications operator before taking on a role training fellow firefighters.

A driving passion for Station Officer Mackintosh throughout her career has been to increase and support diversity within Australia’s emergency services.

From 2014 to 2016, she served as President of Women and Firefighting Australasia (WAFA), a not-for-profit organisation that pro­motes equi­ty across fire and emergency services by empowering women to tak­e an active role within the sector.

Station Officer Mackintosh was also invited to present at TEDx Sydney in 2018, speaking about the value that a diverse workforce provides in meeting the community’s service expectations.

She also founded Girls on Fire, a not-for-profit organisation focussed on increasing the number of women in fire and emergency services, and helped organise the first Girls Fire and Emergency Services Camp in Sydney last year.

The camp gave 20 young women aged between 15-17 years the chance to learn firefighting and emergency services skills and introduced them to the possibility of a career in emergency services.

“Station Officer Mackintosh’s work has the potential to create lasting social change by empowering young women to pursue careers as firefighters and influencing community views about emergency services and the people who provide them,” said Commissioner Baxter.

“She has also served as a mentor and role model to many of the new female firefighters in our organisation and is a most deserving recipient of this Queen’s Birthday Honour.”

Station Officer Mackintosh will be presented with her AFSM at a ceremony later in the year.