Emergency service volunteers from Halls Creek, Morawa, Bremer Bay and Tambellup have been recognised at this year’s annual Volunteer Emergency Service Awards.
Emergency Services Minister Rob Johnson said the awards recognised the 900 Volunteer Emergency Service (VES) and Volunteer Fire Service (VFS) volunteers who played a key role in keeping the community safe.
“Western Australia’s volunteer emergency services personnel continually make themselves available to help assist and protect others when disaster strikes,” Mr Johnson said.
“During the last twelve months, VES and VFS volunteers responded to more than 600 incidents.
“Volunteers battled bushfires that burned for days, including the devastating Toodyay bushfire; responded to numerous house and building fires; major traffic crashes; storms; floods; and assisted with search and rescue incidents.
“It is because of their remarkable efforts we have been able to respond to some of the toughest challenges WA has faced in recent history and help people get back on their feet.
“The community is fortunate to be able to rely on such hard working and dedicated volunteers.”
The Minister said volunteers often sacrificed time away from family, loved ones and work to respond to emergencies.
“It is their selfless actions that make the emergency services in WA as strong as it is today and provide local communities with a much valued and vital service,” he said.
The awards were presented across four categories, highlighting the outstanding work of both individuals and groups.
Youth Achievement Award: Cameron Lindley, Halls Creek VES Unit
Mr Lindley joined the Halls Creek VES three years ago at the age of 21. After just one year, he became the officer-in-charge and remained in that role until earlier this year. Mr Lindley now fulfils the role of training officer and supports the development of the current officer-in-charge. He is a strong committed member who routinely organises training drills, controlled burns and assists to train new members.
Outstanding Volunteer Member Award: Lynette Varris, Morawa Volunteer Fire Service
Mrs Varris has been a highly valued member of the Morawa VFS unit for the past six years, often going beyond the call of duty to assist her local community. As well as fulfilling her commitment as the brigade’s administration officer, she actively initiates and plans bushfire safety awareness events that get the whole community involved. She makes herself available to respond to major incidents, including road crash rescues and bushfires, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Outstanding Volunteer Emergency Service Unit Award/Outstanding Volunteer Fire Brigade Award: Bremer Bay VES Unit
Bremer Bay VES has been proactive in undertaking a range of strategies to minimise bushfire risk to their local community. The unit organised a committee consisting VES members, residents and a Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) representative to improve fire prevention strategies and safety in the area. This committee has been working with FESA, the Department of Environment and Conservation and the local shire to successfully increase controlled burns, water supplies for fire fighting purposes and recruiting more volunteers to the unit.
FESA Award for Excellence: Bryan Trezona, Tambellup VES Unit
Mr Trezona played a crucial role establishing the Tambellup VES unit in 2005. As officer-in- charge, he has worked tirelessly during the last five years to recruit members and secure funds for new equipment and the unit’s headquarters. He also takes every opportunity to promote the work of the unit within the community. Mr Trezona is also a long-serving volunteer with the Tambellup St John Ambulance Association.
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