David was among seven other Lockwood Brigade members, along with 12 firefighters from Eaglehawk and Maiden Gully to be awarded the medal at a special ceremony held in Eaglehawk on Monday 10 August 2015.
The 2009 fires, were declared to be a nationally significant emergency and the crews recognised by the medal were active during those fires. David was the crew leader for the Lockwood brigade on Black Saturday who were deployed to the fire at Redesdale, and said “It was an unexpected honour to receive the medal”
“It was a great crew working directly at the front of the fire. We were able to save several houses that were in the path of the fire.” said David.
“We became aware that there was also a fire in Bendigo, but as we were focused on the fire in Redesdale, we didn’t really appreciate the significance of it at the time. We all just stepped up and did what we had trained to do.”
“It was one of the most satisfying events I have worked at because of the challenges we faced and how the crew came together as an effective unit which resulted in us being able to save some families from the devastation that others sadly faced.” adds David.
The National Emergency Medal was established by Her Majesty the Queen in October 2011 and is awarded to members of identified organisations or individuals who rendered a minimum duration of service in response to nationally significant emergencies or to persons who rendered extraordinary service in response to such emergencies. Applications for the National Emergency Medal come directly from the community. Nominations for significant service are considered by the National Emergency Medal Committee, which then makes recommendations to the Governor- General.
AFS employ and actively support dedicated CFA Volunteers. Staff at AFS are encouraged to volunteer their time to community organisations as we feel it enriches us personally and professionally.
Read more in the Bendigo Advertiser about the Awards ceremony.