Firefighters receive awards for tsunami relief effort

Published: 17th August 2006

Media release

Acting NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner John Benson congratulated three firefighters on receiving the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for their actions during the tsunami relief effort.

Station Officer Bruce Cameron, Station Officer Tim Fox and Leading Firefighter Greg Watson received their medals from Acting Commissioner Benson during a special ceremony at the NSWFB Training College in Alexandria on Thursday 17 August where 19 new firefighters also graduated from the NSWFB's recruit firefighter program.

Acting Commissioner Benson said Station Officer Cameron and Leading Firefighter Watson provided logistical support to paramedic, medical and surgical teams in Banda, Aceh during the tsunami relief effort while Station Officer Fox provided the same support to teams in Sri Lanka.

"The Boxing Day tsunami was the most devastating natural disaster in recent history," Acting Commissioner Benson said.

"These NSWFB firefighters ensured medical rescue teams could be totally self-sufficient in terms of accommodation, food, sanitation, power and water for 10 days.

"Through their outstanding contributions the medical teams were able to save many lives and this medal is the community's way of saying thank you," he said.

The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal honours Australians who provide humanitarian assistance in hazardous overseas settings. The medal was extended in 2005 to recognise those who were part of the tsunami relief effort.

Acting Commissioner Benson also congratulated 19 new firefighters, including three females who graduated from the NSWFB's recruit firefighter program and said they would be sent to fire stations across Sydney in the coming weeks.

"The new firefighters have significant responsibilities and the four months of intensive training as well as ongoing professional development throughout their careers, will give them the skills to come to the aid of the community in a variety of situations," he said.

"They have completed Certificate 3 in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations), a nationally recognised qualification, and are trained to educate the public about safety, fight fires, participate in rescues at motor vehicle and industrial accidents, deal with hazardous material spills and contribute to fire investigations.

"The graduation of three females demonstrates the diverse appeal of firefighting as a profession to people who are adaptable, team-oriented and physically fit.

"I congratulate these 19 new firefighters on their dedication and achievement," he said.

The firefighters, listed below, take up their positions at fire stations shortly.

  • Ricky Tonacia
  • Simon King
  • Anne Frank
  • Matthew Smith
  • Steven Croft
  • Peter Hunt
  • Joshua Ward
  • Jason Lonergan
  • Mitchell Sullivan
  • Lauren Turner
  • Shane Day
  • Justin Clarke
  • Peter Warianka
  • Paul Dunn
  • Stephen Cresswell
  • Keiran Sullivan
  • Scott Salter
  • Guy Waite
  • Nicole Davis