A 60 strong attendance list made for a great night to celebrate the Brigade and its sixteen strong active Member list.
The night started out with Welcome and Apologies from Captain Geoff Bramley and a response from CFA District 8 Operations Manager, Trevor Owen. Trevor spoke about the changing face of CFA at a Management level and how well Nar Nar Goon is positioned given we provide both Fire and Road-Accident-Rescue to the community.
A meal of Roast Beef/Pork and side bar ensured all guests were not left hungry for the formalities of speakers and awards to begin. Edward O’Donohue, Legislative Council Member/Parliamentary Secretary for Transport was the Guest Speaker for the night and provided an overall view of his role in Government, his own link with community organisations and recognised the Brigade/CFA for the work we do for the Community, as we serve.
Captain Geoff Bramley, addressed the Annual Dinner with a review on the year that was, and the increase in incidents the Brigade is noticing over the years. Nar Nar Goon has seen an increase from 150 incidents in the year 2000, to 244 incidents ending 2011, and we are currently sitting at 158 year-to-date with the month of July almost over. The urban growth corridor has a large influence on this with the ever expanding Pakenham. Geoff’s number one priority is to get a Fire/Rescue truck out the door within SDS time, of which needs to occur 100 percent moving into the future. The Brigade is well position to meet this target, and regularly does this now.
As a first major opportunity to give thanks, Geoff made a special mention to Phil and Jeanette Craig who were outgoing Captain and Secretary/Treasurer respectively last year, putting in almost a combined 40 years service in there BMT roles to the Brigade. Both Phil and Jeanette worked tirelessly over the years to build and support the Brigade to what it is now, and this deserved a special appreciation and thank you for all this hard work. Phil and Jeanette have moved to Pakenham and support both this Brigade and the Cardinia Group with Phil as Group Officer and Jeanette as Group Secretary.
The Brigade recognised some outstanding Years of Service Awards presented by Operations Manager Trevor Owen and Operations Officer Jim Dore. These are as follows;
- 5 Year certificates went to Mark O’Regan and Bernie Gaynor
- 15 Year Medal/Clasp to Justin Seddon who began with Seville FB as a Junior in 1991 and is now 4th Lieutenant within our Brigade
- 20 Year Clasp to current 1st Lieutenant Wes Ritchie, who has is Nar Nar Goon all the way, originally beginning with the Brigade in 1986
- Captain Geoff Bramley was surprised at being recognised by the CFA with his 30 Year/ Honorary Life Membership to CFA. Geoff started out with Noble Park FB back in 1972 and only last year became Captain of Nar Nar Goon. He was awarded the National Medal in 2008.
Captain Bramley had the pleasure of awarding his first “Fire Fighter of the Year” to FF Marcus Tong. Marcus has been with the Brigade since 2010 and puts in above and beyond, both around the Fire Station and incidents to which he attends. When the pager sounds Marcus makes the sprint across the railway crossing, entering the fire station to be first dressed and waiting on the truck for others to arrive. The exposure placed upon Marcus and experience gained in such a short amount of time has seen him develop his skills into a fine example of a fire fighter. Well done Marcus.
The final award to be presented on the night was by OM Trevor Owen, whose main reason of attendance was to represent the Chief Officer in presenting a very extraordinary award to the Brigade, and to a handful of its members.
This award is the “Chief Officers Unit Citation for Courage”.
On 5th February 2011 a major flood event occurred. Five Nar Nar Goon members along with Beaconsfield CFA, Pakenham SES and other Emergency agencies responded to teenagers trapped in flood water at the Cardinia Creek. This required those members involved to set up a technical rope-rescue system and actively rescue those persons stuck in flood water putting the lives of Rescue personnel in danger. The Brigade received a framed Unit Citation signed by the Chief Officer and the five members who responded to the event individually received a framed ribbon bar and lapel pin under the colours for a Citation for Courage. Those Nar Nar Goon members involved in the Rescue were Marc Jansen, Geoff Bramley, Justin Seddon, Bernie Gaynor and Phil Craig.
Captain Bramley received this Citation and Award on behalf of the Brigade with much thanks. He made mention that the recognition goes out to the Brigade as a whole for the tireless work each and every member undertook during this particular flood event in February, especially the Rescue that took place.
With formalities over a Raffle Draw took place as well as an Auction of Signed/Limited Edition Hawthorn, Essendon and Melbourne Football Club posters. Before the DJ took over, a Photo Presentation revealed the last 30 years of Nar Nar Goon Fire Brigade. The photo presentation is something the Brigade always prides itself on and this year we out did ourselves and set the standard for future years.
I wish to thank all those who helped make the night one to remember and for all those who came together to celebrate the Brigade. Special thanks to those who helped, provided Raffle Prizes, along with the Guests – Cr Graeme Moore (Cardinia Shire), Edward O’Donohue (Parliament of Vic), Snr Sargent Trevor Vondrasek (VicPol), OM Trevor Owen (CFA), OO Jim Dore (CFA) and the Pakenham Football Club for providing a great venue.
We look forward to an even better event next year !!!
Adam Rollings, Communications Officer