Medal honours for local fire fighters

Eighteen Sale Fire Brigade members have been presented National Emergency Medals for their sustained service to the community during the Victorian Bushfires of February 2009.

CFA Gippsland regional director Mark Potter, District 10 operations officer Peter Barr and brigade support officer Keith Condratoff presented the medals at a special presentation evening last Friday.

While outlining the significance of the award, Mr Potter said the National Emergency Medal was instituted by Queen Elizabeth in October 2011.

“It is an operational services medal which recognises significant or sustained service to others in a nationally significant emergency,” he said.

Master of ceremonies for the evening was Sale Fire Brigade Third Lieutenant Phil Thomas.

He said the medal also recognised the stress and inconvenience caused to family members while firefighters were away from home.

Mr Thomas also reflected on development within the brigade since the 2009 fires.

Sale Fire Brigade Captain Doug Brack spoke of the commitment members made from late January 2009 including Churchill-Delburn, Black Saturday, Won Wron Napier Rd, Bunjip Ridge and numerous other fires and incidents through to early March 2009.

He also acknowledged the significant contribution the Sale Fire Brigade Auxiliary made while catering at short notice for numerous firefighter crews travelling through Sale from other parts of the state in response to Gippsland fires.