Illawarra volunteers’ commitment praised


Long serving volunteers from the Illawarra area have been acknowledged for their commitment by NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said there are 22 brigades in the Illawarra area that respond to a range of bush, grass and house fires as well as motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies each year.

 Commissioner Fitzsimmons presented each of the volunteers with Long Service Medals and recognised their on-going dedication in a presentation at the Illawarra Fire Control Centre yesterday.

“Each and every one of the volunteers here today is worthy of our most sincere thanks and I would like to personally commend them, not only for their commitment to the Service, but also to their community,” said Commissioner Fitzsimmons.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said that between them the 20 volunteers presented with medals had accumulated an incredible 473 years of service between them.

“I would like to make particular mention of Neil Robinson & Malcolm Weir who have been valued members of the Service for 42 and 51 years respectively.

“A member since the age of 16, Neil is a shining example of dedication with his 42 years of service. Neil has attended numerous incidents as well dedicating many nights manning the after-hours radio for the district.

“Malcolm has given more 51 years of service to the NSW RFS and has participated in almost every major fire during his time. He is a wealth of knowledge and is passionate in passing this knowledge on to our young members.

“The NSW RFS is at the cutting edge of bush firefighting due to significant improvements in technology, training, equipment and communications however the real strength of the Service lies in its people.

“These men and women have been part of the Service during a period of incredible growth and change and their breadth of experience illustrates this.

“All of the volunteers here today have demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to their community over the years and these medals are just a small token of our appreciation,” Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.