VOLUNTEER firefighters from the Far South Coast were recognised for their long and dedicated service in an official ceremony over the weekend.
NSW Rural Fire Service assistant commissioner Bruce McDonald presented Long Service medals to the group of volunteers who have amassed an impressive 547 years of service between them.
Firefighter John Hynes of Narooma meanwhile received a National Medal.
“This significant commitment demonstrates that the tradition of volunteering is thriving in this region,” commissioner McDonald said.
“These men and women each play a vital role in their community, whether they’re fighting bush fires, attending road accidents or even assisting during storms or floods.
“It is an honour to present these awards and reflect upon the outstanding commitment shown by these members.
“I would particularly like to acknowledge Ewan Thomson who is today receiving an award for 55 years dedicated service to his community.
“Ewan joined the Belowra Rural Brigade in 1958. As a local landowner & farmer Ewan encouraged residents of the small community of Belowra to join the brigade to ensure their safety during bushfires in the remote and mountainous area they reside in.
“All of the members being awarded Long Service Medals today are examples of the selfless commitment demonstrated by NSW RFS volunteers right throughout NSW.
“Their hard work and professionalism doesn’t go unnoticed and this is a great opportunity for the broader community to express their gratitude and say thank you.”
After 17 years of service joining the Narooma brigade in 1996, John Hynes was singled out to receive a National Medal.
A carpenter by trade, John was eagerly welcomed by all members who were foreseeing the station improvements once he joined.
John continues to hold the deputy captain position and role of brigade equipment officer.
RFS Far South Coast team manager John Cullen said he was a tireless worker for the brigade assisting the Narooma community at emergency incidents.
He has travelled inter and intrastate, assisting communities in their time of need.
John received recognition for his contribution to the ACT 2003 fires and the Victorian fires in 2009.
During both of these horrific emergencies John assisted as a volunteer driver transporting patients and residents needing assistance to hospitals and other emergency centres.
He will attend a fire and then stay to help with the feeding of the troops, always willing to do above and beyond the necessary.
John was nominated for, and received recognition at the Narooma Citizen of the Year Awards in 2012 for his commitment and contribution to his community and various community organisations.
He is highly respected by his colleagues and was bestowed life membership of the Narooma Brigade in 2012.
National medals/clasps are presented to members of the service in recognition of their years of diligent service, for members who go above and beyond what is expected of active members with their brigades.