Blue Mountains heroes honoured


Eighty four Blue Mountains volunteer firefighters have been awarded National and Long Service medals in recognition of their outstanding service to the NSW Rural Fire Service and their local community.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons presented the medals to the group of volunteers who have amassed an impressive 1,950 years of service between them.

“This significant commitment demonstrates that the volunteer tradition is thriving in the Blue Mountains,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“The risk of bush fires in this area is well known and these men and women each play a vital role in helping to protect their community.

“It is an honour to present these awards and reflect upon the outstanding commitment shown by these members.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge two volunteers Allan Carruthers AFSM and John Newton, both of whom have given more than 54 years of dedicated service to their community.

“Mr Carruthers has shown unwavering commitment to his brigade and has attended countless fires throughout the region and beyond. His colleagues praise him highly, saying that few people have his knowledge, experience and wisdom.

“Mr Newton was a founding member of the Blaxland Brigade and more than half a century later continues to actively participate in brigade activities, passes on his skills to younger members and assists with brigade fundraising efforts.

“All of the members being awarded Long Service Medals today are examples of the selfless commitment demonstrated by NSW RFS volunteers right throughout the State.

“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.

“I would like to take this time to praise all our volunteers for their ongoing efforts each and every day, particularly when dealing with emergencies here in the Blue Mountains,” said Commissioner Fitzsimmons.