The awards were presented by CFA Chief Officer, Euan Ferguson, at the graduation of 25 of CFA’s newest career firefighters. Read more about the graduation ceremony here.
This included Chief Officer Commendations for Courage awarded to four CFA volunteers from Ballan, Gordon and Invermay, as well as former Ballan CFA firefighter, Graeme Denhert.
Graeme, Billy Smith and Ian Ireland of Ballan Fire Brigade, Scott Hunt from Gordon Fire Brigade and Trevor Guppy from Invermay Fire Brigade were involved in the rescue of a teenager from a drain in January last year.
In an attempt to cross a swollen creek at Gordon, the 14-year-old boy became stuck, neck deep in the drain.
CFA firefighters, with the help of local farmers, diverted floodwaters around the boy by digging a culvert and had to dive under the water to free him.
“No training could ever have prepared us for what we come across, it was just one of those instinctive things,” Billy said.
“You’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do sometimes.”
At Friday’s ceremony, Patterson River Leading Firefighter Cameron McGregor was also awarded a National Medal. Cameron was nominated for the medal for 15 years’ service with CFA, both as a volunteer and career firefighter.
An award for Outstanding Service was also presented to Ross McGregor of Paynesville CFA for “a significant commitment to the fire service throughout 29 years”. This has included as a Structural Instructor and volunteer firefighter.
Photos by Keith Pakenham