NSW Rural Fire Service Australian Fire Service Medal recipient biographies
Published Date: 09 Jun 2014
Six NSW Rural Fire Service members were today awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.
AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM) – NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE
PETER HENRY CARTER
Group Captain Peter Henry Carter joined the Woronora Rural Fire Brigade in December 1982 and was elected as a Group Captain in the Sutherland District in 2009.
Peter Carter's contribution to training in the NSW RFS is significant and his philosophies and skills are embedded in the Communications, Fire Ground Management and Incident Control training which is of direct benefit to the community of NSW and volunteers.
Mr Carter's work has contributed to practical fire training to turn volunteers into skilled professional fire fighters. This has greatly assisted NSWRFS volunteers to provide increased response capability and improved fire ground efficiencies.
Following the Victorian Royal Commission into the February 2009 fires, Mr Carter has been responsible for the development of the Incident Control Major Incident Course for the NSWRFS. This course sets the world standard for the training of Incident Controllers for Major Incidents and leads the way in ensuring that NSW has skilled Incident Controllers to manage all emergencies.
DONALD GLENN CODDINGTON
Group Captain Donald Glenn Coddington joined the Thanowring Brigade in January 1976. He was elected as Group Captain in Temora District in 2003. Donald's commitment and dedication to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the wider community is outstanding, he is extremely proud to be a member of the service and one who always positively promotes the NSW RFS.
Mr Coddington has responded to countless number of local fires and the following Section 44 incidents either as a strike team leader, sector leader or as a divisional controller:
Goobang 2001, Oberon 2001, Tumut 2003, Alex Town 2004, Dubbo 2005, Weddin Mountains 2006, Jail Break Inn 2006, Wallendbeen 2009, Naradhan 2009, Hazelwood 2009, Ungarie Barellan Yenda floods 2012, Boorowa 2013 and Monkey Top 2013.
Donald has also assisted in the coordination and deployment of local and out of area crews to provide assistance with fires in the Blue Mountains, Tenterfield, Canberra, Jindabyne and the Victoria Black Saturday fires.
He is highly regarded for the way he represent the NSW RFS, manages and prioritizes tasks while providing exceptional personnel care for the individuals under his responsibility.
ALLAN ROBERT HEPPLEWHITE
Allan Hepplewhite joined the Raymond Terrace Brigade in January 1974. He was employed as a Fire Control Officer with the then Bush Fire Service under Port Stephens Council and retired in July 1988.
During Allan's years as Fire Control Officer, he has been involved in many incidents – minor and major bush and structure fires, Section 44's, motor vehicle accidents and flood and storm incidents throughout Port Stephens and adjoining districts.
Allan was instrumental in the planning and building of the Port Stephens Fire Control Centre with the assistance of his Deputy Fire Control Officer, which was opened in 1993. Soon after the facility become the Emergency Centre for the January 1994 fires.
Allan is now a Life member of the Raymond Terrace Brigade and has served as the Training Officer with Raymond Terrace Brigade and is currently the Training Officer of Eccleston Brigade. .
Upon retiring as a salaried staff member, Allan has shown remarkable diligent service as a volunteer, taking on the role of Fire Investigator for the Rural Fire Service.
Throughout Allan's service, he has showed outstanding commitment, professionalism, dedication and leadership. Allan also served as an Ambulance Officer and an SES volunteer.
HENRY JAMES MAYE
Fire Fighter Henry Maye, better known as Tom, joined the Cudgen Rural Fire Brigade in January 1950.
Tom's distinguished and dedicated service and admirable career has spanned over 60 years, an outstanding and exceptional achievement. Tom is a highly respected individual and proud Life Member of the Cudgen Brigade and member of the NSW RFS.
Toms' individual strengths, his placid and patient nature along with his excellent communication skills and unique and vast experience aid his exceptional leadership qualities and ability to give constructive feedback and direction to other members.
Today, Tom continues to tirelessly volunteer as an active member of the Cudgen Brigade with genuine hands on interest and with unbounded enthusiasm. He is greatly admired and respected by his peers and members of the local community and broader district due to his good nature, integrity and honest principles.
ALAN PATRICK SELMAN
Group Captain Alan Patrick Selman joined the Mt Victoria Brigade in 1977.
Mr Alan Selman joined the Mt Victoria brigade in 1977. He held the position of Deputy Captain for 5 years before moving to Mudgee and joining the Mudgee HQ brigade in 1985.
Mr Selman held a number of positions including that of Captain, president and training officer before being elected to the position of Group Captain in 2004, a position he still holds.
Mr Selman is the founding member of the Cudgegong RFS Heritage Committee. The Committee aims to preserve "yesterday's RFS history for tomorrow's generations" by collecting, preserving and displaying a vast array of firefighting vehicles, equipment and memorabilia.
Mr Selman's fire ground leadership and tactical skills have been demonstrated at major incidents including Glen Innes, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, 1994 Blue Mountains fires, and the Nyngan floods. His leadership at major incidents has directly contributed to the saving of many properties and possibly lives.
Group Captain Alan Patrick Selman is a worthy nomination for the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Group Captain Victor Walker joined the Culburra Brigade in October 1980.
Victor (Vic) Walker, Group Captain in the Shoalhaven District has provided 32 years of devoted, active service as a volunteer to the NSW Rural Fire. His leadership was evident to brigade members and the community as he advanced through the ranks being appointed to roles as Senior Deputy Captain, Deputy Group Captain and presently the role of Group Captain.
Notably Vic has participated in major fires in the Shoalhaven District, being the 2000/2001 Hylands Fire, 2001 Touga Fire, 2004 Victorian Fires, 2005 North Nowra Fire, 2006 Burrill Lake Fire, 2009 Gulp Road and Dingo Road Fires, 2009 Victorian Fires, 2009 Romney Park Fire and the 2014 South Australian Fires, in addition to numerous other major fires across New South Wales.
During these major fires and incidents, Vic has undertaken roles of Task Force Leader, Divisional Commander, Sector Commander, Group Leader and Service Liaison Officer. His expertise extends beyond the role of fire fighter and his skills have been called upon to assist other agencies with resource management and coordination.
Within the District, Group Captain Victor Walker is actively involved in the Senior Management Team, Strategic Planning Committee, District Liaison Committee, Fire Investigation, Rural Fire Service Association and other State wide Committees.