Navigation

Rescuers honoured during annual FRNSW awards

Published: 6th June 2021

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) today recognised firefighters for going above and beyond the call of duty as part of its annual Honours and Awards ceremony.

Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott said the award recipients exemplified the bravery, dedication and professionalism of the organisation.

“As a community, we ask more of firefighters than we would ask of ourselves, and time and time again, they deliver,” Mr Elliott said.

“Many of today’s recipients were involved in saving lives and property during the unprecedented Black Summer bushfires, from Lake Conjola to Nowra, Balmoral, Lithgow and Gospers Mountain.

“Other award recipients displayed exemplary service while carrying out their daily duties including two off-duty firefighters resuscitating a fallen cyclist on the side of the road at Bangor bypass.

“Every one of today’s recipients has done an amazing job under the most trying of circumstances so I am pleased to see their efforts officially recognised.”

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the ceremony provided a chance to thank all firefighters for their work.

“Each of the people commended today is a credit to both FRNSW and the communities they protect and serve,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“As one of the world’s most highly skilled and regarded urban firefighting and rescue services, our firefighters are equipped to respond to a range of serious incidents beyond fire, from motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies, to hazmat incidents and natural disasters.

“They exemplify the proud legacy of courageous service that is the hallmark of NSW firefighters.

“Today we thank not just the people receiving awards – but all firefighters who perform valuable life-saving work on a daily basis.”

**Please note**

Sunday’s awards event was predominantly for residents in the Sydney Metropolitan area. All other award recipients will be notified and presented with their awards via their Zone Office in the coming months.

Bushfire Nominations

Unit Courageous Action - Response at Lake Conjola

Retired firefighter Superintendent Robert McGowan and off duty firefighters Station Officer Andrew McNamara and Senior Firefighter Adam Richards were holidaying at Cunjurong Point, Lake Conjola during the Christmas/New Year period when they were trapped and isolated by bushfire with no electricity, along with around 3,000 residents and visitors. Over several days, confronted with three fire fronts, they established and coordinated a community response centre with other emergency services to arrange community briefings, evacuations, medical attention, supplies such as water, food and fuel, and frontline firefighting operations to protect the vulnerable community.

Senior Firefighter Adam Richards Regional Training
Station Officer Andrew McNamara City Of Sydney Fire Station
Superintendent Robert McGowan (Retired) Manager Technical Training

Unit Courageous Action - Response at Lake Conjola

On 31 December 2019, Strike Team Romeo was deployed to Conjola Park. Over a period of eight intense hours and in the midst of a fire storm that constantly changed direction with flames over 20 metres above treetops, firefighters conducted rescues from burning houses with limited water supplies. Despite the horrendous conditions, firefighters limited the impact of the fire, successfully defending numerous properties and saved many lives.

Leading Station Officer John Moore (Strike Team Leader) Cabramatta Fire Station
Station Officerr Russell Goldsmith Liverpool Fire Station
Leading Firefighter Gary Cork Concord Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Robert Dwyer Macquarie Fields Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Mark Hinton Yennora Fire Station
Station Officer Neil Duncan Mascot Fire Station
Leading Firefighter Jason Lonergan Regentville Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter David Baber Darlinghurst Fire Station
Firefighter Mitchell Cox Seven Hills Fire Station
Station Officer Greg Buchanan Blacktown Fire Station
Leading Firefighter Rod Wellington Regentville Fire Station
Firefighter Curtis Warren Hurstville Fire Station
Firefighter Ben Faiers Woollahra Fire Station
Station Officer James Outred Manly Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Peter Jones Chester Hill Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Josh Bolin Newtown Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Thomas Davey Huntingwood Fire Station

Individual Meritorious - Contribution at the SOC

Over several months Mr Langdon worked out of the Strategic Operations Centre at the NSW Rural Fire Service Headquarters, working extraordinary hours and during most weekends. With his extensive knowledge and experience in bushfires, he provided insight, planning and intelligence in the placement of resources and crews on the fire ground, as he assisted in predicting impacted areas. Mr Langdon’s contribution limited the impact of the fire, successfully defending numerous properties and protected many communities.

Mr Phillip LangdonOrganisational Development Unit

Unit Meritorious - Response to Lake Conjola

On 31 December 2019 the Currawan fire was heading towards the Holiday Haven Tourist Park in Bendalong, pushed by strong wind gusts. The fire front with flames over 30 metres high, was heading towards a building where approximately 30 people were seeking refuge. Firefighters attached to Strike Team Boston was deployed to the tourist park. On route, firefighters could only access the park by a back road that was covered in burning trees and debris. Despite the horrendous conditions, firefighters arrived in time to limit the impact of the fire, successfully defended numerous properties and protected the community.

Station Officer Michael Harvey Equipment Logistics Fire Station
Leading Station Officer James Murphie Crows Nest Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Kelly Buchanan City Of Sydney Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Julie Denton City Of Sydney Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter David Leane City Of Sydney Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Sam Robinson Glebe Fire Station

Unit Meritorious - Response to Hanes Rd South Nowra

On 31 December 2019 Strike Team Golf was deployed to assist NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters at a house under threat with reported people inside. On route, the appliances were confronted with a sudden wind change that forced the fire front to travel directly towards the appliances. As conditions deteriorated, the four appliances retreated back along the road. Two appliances became stranded due to mechanical failure and were faced with the full fire front. With complete personal protection gear and breathing apparatus gear donned, the two crews left their appliances to seek shelter on foot, as their appliances burnt to the ground. If not for the decision to exit the appliances and remaining calm under the life-threatening conditions, the situation would have been tragic.

Retained Firefighter Adam Southers Lawson Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Bruce Stuart Lawson Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Aydin Phipps Lawson Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Tom Doyle-Byrne Lawson Fire Station

Unit Meritorious - Response to Balmoral ST Tango

On 21 December 2019 Strike Team Tango was deployed in and around the Balmoral and Wollondily areas. Firefighters were faced with extreme conditions, with water shortages due to no reticulated supply, falling trees and flames resembling cyclones. With numerous homes and properties on fire and often being surrounded by fire, crews carried out firefighting attack in an exceptional manner. Despite the horrendous conditions, firefighters limited the impact of the fire, successfully defending numerous properties and protected the community.

Senior Firefighter Glenn Caward Engadine Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Harold Wilcock Engadine Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Brett Hogan Miranda Fire Station
Station Officer Paul Shapter Engadine Fire Station

Unit Meritorious - Response to Balmoral ST Tango

On 21 December 2019 Strike Team Tango was deployed in and around the Balmoral and Wollondily areas. Firefighters were faced with extreme conditions, with water shortages due to no reticulated supply, falling trees and flames resembling cyclones. Late in the afternoon a southerly wind change occurred that forced the fire front rapidly moving towards the NSW Rural Fire Service Fire Station, where a number of community members were sheltering with RFS firefighters present. Upon arrival at the station crews found the station’s failed sprinkler system, so along with RFS firefighters, they set up fire protection from ember attack and fog protection from a bulk water tanker to reduce the radiant heat penetrating into the station. If not for the actions of Strike Team Tango, the situation would have been tragic.

Station Officer Jason Strong City Of Sydney
Senior Firefighter Kim Carland City Of Sydney
Qualified Firefighter Steven Cheung City Of Sydney
Firefighter Steven Fulop Glebe
Qualified Firefighter Allan Haddad Cabramatta

Unit Meritorious - Contribution to the bushfires

Between the period July 2019 and March 2020, during the height of bushfire and storm emergencies in NSW, there were 45,209 calls placed/received by Fire and Rescue NSW FireCOM Operators. During this time, FireCOM Operators had to determine the priority of each call based on the risk to life, deploy appliances, refer incidents to the NSW Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Services, as well as monitor and respond to emergency radio traffic. The dedication and swift responses from the FireCOM Operators during the intense and critical circumstances contributed to the prevention of loss of life and limited the loss of properties.

Sydney Communications

Leading Firefighter David Allen Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Rohan Ashton Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer Greg Bathurst Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer Scott Baxter Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Martin Beudeker Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer Andrew Bickle Sydney Communications Centre
Qualified Firefighter Jamie Brinkworth Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Dominic Burke Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Denise Butcher Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Daniel Callanan Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Firefighter Ross Clague Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Patrick Clancy Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer Scott Cresswell Berowra Fire Station
Leading Firefighter Steven Croft Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Paul Cullen Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Warren Curran Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Gino Debono Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer Raymond Dixon Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Darren Ellen Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter David Finch Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Firefighter Michael Goodwin Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Adam Guarino Matraville Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Mark Hankin Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter David Hansen Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Sarah Hately Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Johannes Hausoul Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer Rodney Holdsworth Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Michael Hughes Sydney Communications Centre
Qualified Firefighter Philip Huntley Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Mark Jenner Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Mark Jongkind Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Peter Kains Sydney Communications Centre
Qualified Firefighter Mata-Kali Kali Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Clinton Killen Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Theodore Kitsoukilias Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Rodney La Motte Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Station Officer Guy Lightfoot Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Duncan Macaulay Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Gail Marshal Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Station Officer Andrew McCready Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Firefighter Darrel Muzyczka Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Darren Pearson Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Brendan Pirie Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Paula Raat Sydney Communications Centre
Qualified Firefighter David Rendall Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Sally-Ann Roberts Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Michael Robinson Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Firefighter Melissa Spurr Kogarah Fire Station
Station Officer Troy Stockwell Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Karl Strudwick Macquarie Fields Fire Station
Senior Firefighter  Paul Taylor Sydney Communications Centre
Qualified Firefighter Mitchell Telford Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Stacey Townsend Sydney Communications Centre
Station Officer David Triggs Sydney Communications Centre
Leading Firefighter Craig Vaughan Newtown Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Jeffrey Walsh Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Glenn Wiltshire Sydney Communications Centre

Communications Staff

Inspector Glen Lord, Response Co-Ordinator
Inspector Stuart Mitchell Response, Co-Ordinator
Inspector Scott Rainnie Response, Co-Ordinator
Inspector Matthew Wormald, Response Co-Ordinator
Inspector Gregory Wright, Response Co-Ordinator
Chief Superintendent Phillip Lindsay
Superintendent Steven Hayes
Staion Officer Graham Tait
Mr Gurminder Saini
Ms Karen Collins
Mr Alan Patterson
Ms Courtney Davey
Ms Marina De-Gabriele
Mr Darren Yu
Ms Rashmi Balakrishnan
Mr Paul McDonald

Unit Meritorious - Response to Lithgow ST Lakewood

On 21 December 2019 Strike Team Lakewood was deployed in the Dargan area when conditions deteriorated so badly they had to retreat to the Zig Zag Railway for protection. On route they encountered a NSW Rural Fire Service Strike Team coming from the Zig Zag Railway and they too were retreating to safety. As both crews searched for refuge, they came across several vehicles of residents also seeking refuge. As the fire front was approaching and all vehicles were stranded, firefighters positioned their appliances towards the fire front, making a protective barrier for the residents as the fire front passed over. A short time after, firefighters then continued to respond to homes and properties on fire back in the Dargan area. Despite the horrendous conditions, firefighters limited the impact of the fire, successfully defending numerous properties and protected the community.

Superintendent Michael Jay Community Engagement Unit
Station Officer William Devereaux Kellyville Fire Station
Senior Firefighter David Winchcombe Kellyville Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Chris Langshaw Kellyville Fire Station
Firefighter Benjamin Buckingham Kellyville Fire Station
Station Officer Samuel Parkhouse Blacktown Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Andrew Connell Cranebrook Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Aaron McFarlane Cranebrook Fire Station
Firefighter Brydie McGregor Cranebrook Fire Station
Station Officer Paul Jones Regentville Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Bruce Annabel Regentville Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Adam Reeson Regentville Fire Station
Firefighter Danial McSpadden Seven Hills Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Daniel Skybinsky Regentville Fire Station
Station Officer Geoffrey Wood Yennora Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Mark Clout Horningsea Park Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Stuart McCorkell Horningsea Park Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Michael Hall Horningsea Park Fire Station
Senior Firefighte Adam Campbel Hazmat / CBR

Unit Meritorious - Response to Gospers Mountain ST Iowa

On 21 December 2019 Strike Team Iowa was deployed in the Dargan area. Upon arrival they were advised that the fire front was approaching. Firefighters stayed to protect residents and defend property, as they found that many residents did not evacuate. As the fire front arrived, conditions deteriorated with strong westerly winds and a temperature of 47 degrees. With numerous homes and properties on fire and often being surrounded by fire, crews carried out firefighting attack and relocated residents to safety in an exceptional manner. Despite the horrendous conditions, firefighters limited the impact of the fire, successfully defending numerous properties and protected the community.

Station Officer Christopher James, Willoughby Forestville Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Yanda Morison, Willoughby Willoughby Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Genevieve Delves, Willoughby Sydney Communications Centre
Senior Firefighter Scott Wilson, Willoughby Willoughby Fire Station
Station Officer Wayne Smith, Mount Druitt Mount Druitt Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Daniel Randall, Mount Druitt Mount Druitt Fire Station
Qualified Firefighter Jessica Cooper, Mount Druitt Mount Druitt Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Craig Kitson, Huntingwood Huntingwood Fire Station
Deputy Captain Warren Jones, Merrylands Merrylands Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Edmund Mather, Merrylands Merrylands Fire Station
Retained Firefighter David Sherlock, Merrylands Merrylands Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Mohammed Shobaki, Merrylands Merrylands Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Joshua Crump, Merrylands Merrylands Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Clinton Mackenzie, Riverstone Riverstone Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Drew Johnson, Riverstone Riverstone Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Dalton Lynch, Riverstone Riverstone Fire Station
Retained Firefighter Jayden Ewans, Riverstone Riverstone Fire Station
Station Officer James Murphie, Crows Nest Crows Nest Fire Station

General Honours and Awards

Actions at a rescue at Barrington Tops

On 14 January 2021, off duty Qualified Firefighter Sullivan was at a rockpool when he observed a young boy who slipped and fell over the edge of a waterfall into turbulent waters. When the boy failed to resurface, Qualified Firefighter Sullivan clambered down the rocks, entered the water and swam to the waterfall. He reached into the waterfall, sweeping his arms in an attempt to locate the boy. He felt the boy’s leg, took hold and dragged him up to the surface. Although the boy was vomiting water he was conscious and breathing. The boy was taken out of the water to his family. If it were not for the actions of Qualified Firefighter Sullivan, the boy may not have survived.

Qualified Firefighter Nathan SullivanConcord

Contribution to Emergency Management

Over several years, these employees have provided emergency management administration support in addition to their full-time roles, often working through weekends, public holidays and through the night on many occasions. They have exceptional administration skills, attention to detail, and a calm composure in a high-pressure environment. They use strategic, logistics and planning capacity to assist in the effective and efficient resourcing and administration management of major emergencies in support of not only Fire and Rescue NSW but for all NSW emergency services.

Ms Michelle Tolson
Ms Sandra Kyriakopoulos 
Ms Kerri Raymond 

Actions at a medical assist at Bangor Bypass

On 7 February 2021, off-duty Senior Firefighter Smith was driving to work when he noticed a pair of legs protruding out of the bush on the side of the road. He stopped to investigate and found a man unconscious and not breathing, who had suffered a heart attack whilst cycling. Senior Firefighter Smith needed help to move the man, so he attempted to flag down a passing motorist with no luck. Off-duty Senior Firefighter Peter Carr was also driving by on his way to work. He recognised Senior Firefighter Smith and stopped to render help. They removed the man from the bush and commenced lifesaving first aid. Suddenly they noticed a passing NSW Ambulance crew and flagged them down to assist. After applying a defibrillator, he regained a hearth rhythm and was transported to hospital.

Senior Firefighter Christopher Smith Revesby Fire Station
Senior Firefighter Peter Carr Chester Hill Fire Station

Contribution to FRNSW - Field Operations

Over the past three years Ms Osmanagic has worked on a range of projects that have improved and modernised the Field Operations Business Unit’s operational systems as well as providing continuous support and training to our frontline firefighters who use these computerised systems daily within their administrative duties. Through her commitment and drive, Ms Osmanagic has played an integral part towards achieving one of our Unit’s key priorities to continuously improve and optimise service processes for our firefighters.

Ms Rasema Osmanagic