Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains honours volunteers for 660 years of service

The NSW Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains District celebrated the dedication and commitment of long serving members to the local community recently.

NSW RFS Assistant Commissioner Stuart Midgley and Shayne Mallard MLC presented nine national medals and 21 long service medals to 30 recipients at a ceremony at the Mid Mountains Community Centre in Lawson on August 3.

Dirty, exhausting work praised: Member of the Legislative Council and Blue Mountains resident Shayne Mallard (right) thanks Frank Vincent for 50 years service at the RFS.

Dirty, exhausting work praised: Member of the Legislative Council and Blue Mountains resident Shayne Mallard (right) thanks Frank Vincent for 50 years service at the RFS.

Mr Mallard, representing the Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant, said it was a privilege to honour the members who did “dirty, exhausting and mentally challenging work”.

“The members have together dedicated 660 years of service to the local community and these medals acknowledge their tireless devotion to protecting the Mountains from fire and other emergencies,” Mr Mallard said.

“Lindsay Williams, Peter Lang, Paula Metcalfe, Sarah Elliott, Robert Offner, Mark Roberts, Wayne Foster, Peter Belshaw and Andrew Kaye are worthy recipients of the National Medal, which is awarded to members of the service who go above and beyond,” he added.

Assistant Commissioner Midgley said six of the medal recipients had devoted more than 30 years of service to their brigades and the local community.

“The hard work and professionalism does not go unnoticed. Every one of the 30 being honoured has our gratitude.”

Asst Comm Midgley made special mention of Frank Vincent, awarded the Long Service Medal 4th Clasp in recognition of his 50 years of service to communities across the Blue Mountains.

“Frank has been an active member since joining the then Mt Victoria bushfire Brigade in 1968 and has held the positions of group captain, deputy group officer, brigade president and vice president.”

Asst Comm Midgley also paid tribute to the volunteers’ families.