Commissioner's commendation for service - Firefighter Bernard John Fisher


Firefighter Bernard John Fisher - Blaxland Rural Fire Brigade, Blue Mountains District, Region East

Firefighter Bernard (Bernie) John Fisher, after moving to the Blue Mountains in April 1965 became a member of Blaxland Volunteer Bushfire Fire Brigade, which at the time was the closest brigade to his home. Joining in an era of less formalised training, he attended his first fire a relatively short time later.

Bernie was voted into the position of Brigade Treasurer in June 1969, a position he holds some 45 years later and one that he continues to perform with distinction. He is the longest serving office holder of the Brigade in its 54 year history. Bernie has held the position of Deputy Captain for nine years, Brigade Driver, Assistant Equipment Officer for several years and Assistant Station Officer for seven years. He remains highly active within the Brigade.

During his 48 years of dedicated service to the community of the Blue Mountains, Bernie has attended numerous fires, storm damage events and other incidents and has always been prepared to share his vast experience with newer members and provide advice and support to his Brigade Field Officers.

He joined the Australian Red Cross for the benefit of the Brigade. By becoming a member of the Australian Red Cross and achieving an Instructors Qualification, Bernie has been able to assist numerous members of Blaxland Brigade as well as other brigades in obtaining First Aid competencies.

As Treasurer and a member of the Brigade Executive Committee for over four decades, Bernie has been instrumental in not only ensuring the Brigade's financial management has been of the highest order but he has been a mentor to the many members who have come into the Brigade Executive.

The other members of the Brigade Executive have relied heavily on his skill and expertise and it is no surprise that other brigades in the District have sought his advice from time to time.

The past decades have seen enormous change in financial management practices and the responsibilities placed upon Treasurers. Bernie has been the driving force in ensuring that the Brigade has always met its obligations and ensured the Brigade's strong financial position. Be it in his role as Treasurer, or as an active firefighter, Bernie has always conducted himself with the highest professional and personal standards of integrity.

The many hours of work that Bernie puts in behind the scenes to develop and manage the Brigade budget and fundraising program is done without any expectation of thanks or reward, he just gets on with the job to assist the Brigade he loves.

Without Bernie the Brigade and the wider NSW Rural Fire Service would be a much poorer organisation. Bernie is a foundation of the Brigade, a pillar of the NSW Rural Fire Service and an outstanding member of the greater community of the Blue Mountains.