Presented by Chairman, Kerry Murphy, along with CFA Chief Officer, Euan Ferguson, the new medal in the Australian Honours system recognises service to others during a nationally-significant emergency.
Mr Murphy said in CFA’s case, this applied to the devastating bushfires of January and February 2009, which saw more than 19,000 members involved in frontline firefighting, incident management and support behind the scenes.
“While most CFA members who receive awards such as this feel as though they were just doing their job, it is fair to say, particularly in context of the 2009 bushfires, they did so under extremely difficult conditions and performed above and beyond their call of duty,” he said.
“I would like to thank each and every one of our members who provided service during these fires and to all of you who continue to selflessly and tirelessly serve your communities.”
Mr Murphy said the initial 27 people receiving a National Emergency Medal came from right across Victoria, including in areas hard-hit by the fires such as Kinglake, Arthurs Creek, Narbethong, Kilmore, Mudgegonga, Eaglehawk, Dederang, Horsham, Mirboo North and Churchill.
“These members performed a variety of roles during the campaign including in frontline operation roles and behind-the-scenes support,” Mr Murphy said.
“But as this medal reflects, the service provided by these members was vital in the protection of lives and property.”
A total of 31 medals were awarded to CFA members with two people unable to attend Sunday's event. A further two of these National Emergency Medals were presented to Churchill Fire Brigade Captain, Steve Barling and former St Andrews Captain, Helen Kenney, during Australia Day Honour celebrations this year. Both were presented by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
Sunday's event saw the remaining medals presented to CFA members with their family and friends in attendance. Further National Emergency Medal nominations for CFA members are currently with the The Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat for consideration.
The National Emergency Medal is also presented in recognition of service provided during other nationally-significant emergencies, including Cyclone Yasi and the Queensland floods of 2010-11.
For more information about the National Emergency Medal, visit the Australian Honours and Awards website.
- Ken Williamson, Whittlesea Fire Brigade
- John Grover, Kinglake West Fire Brigade
- Glen Woods, Flowerdale Fire Brigade
- David McGahy, Arthurs Creek Fire Brigade
- Paul Hendrie, Strath Creek-Reedy Creek Fire Brigade
- Bruce McClements, Toolangi Fire Brigade
- Helen Kenney, St Andrews Fire Brigade
- William Boyd, Yarra Glen Fire Brigade
- Graham Hill, Horsham Fire Brigade
- Graeme Bates, Healesville Fire Brigade
- Raymond Eastaugh, Narbethong Fire Brigade
- David Webb Ware, Glenburn Fire Brigade
- Gregory Murphy, Kilmore Fire Brigade
- Danny Bennett, Reefton Fire Brigade
- Graeme Armstrong, District 13 Regional Headquarters
- Paul King, District 24 Regional Headquarters
- Andrew Cross, Mudgegonga Fire Brigade
- Douglas Connors, Dederang Fire Brigade
- Ross Hibbert, Clonbinane Fire Brigade
- Sandra O'Connor, Wandong Fire Brigade
- Gary Hendy, Strath Creek-Reedy Creek Fire Brigade
- Angela Seach, CFA Headquarters
- Patricia Bigham, Gruyere Fire Brigade
- Mark Bourke, Mirboo North Fire Brigade
- Gilbert Mynard, Longwarry and District Fire Brigade
- Paul Elso, Craigieburn Fire Brigade
- Eric Smith, Eaglehawk Fire Brigade
- Andy Chapman, Elphingstone Fire Brigade
- Steven Barling, Churchill Fire Brigade
- Raymond Beaton, Hazlewood North Fire Brigade
- Neil Bumpstead, CFA Headquarters
*Photos by Warren Mitchelson and Darren Grevis-James*