Castlereagh Zone celebrates veteran volunteers, new vehicles and opening of new Fire Control Centre


The Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries MP, Warrumbungle mayor Peter Shinton and NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons today recognised the dedication and achievements of long serving members of the Castlereagh Zone, officially opened its new Fire Control Centre and handed over new vehicles.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said he was honoured to present two National Medals and 26 Long Service Medals to 27 volunteers in recognition of their combined 998 years of service.

“These medals are a proud acknowledgement of the volunteers’ dedication to protecting their community and the commitment they have given to their brigades and I thank each and every one for their service,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“I would like to make special mention of the late Neil Lennox and the late Robert Hobbs, who are posthumously receiving the Long Service Medal 3rd and 4th clasp respectively in recognition of their 42 and 56 years of service.

“Also worthy of mention are National Medal recipients Anthony Waldron and John McDonald, who is also receiving his Long Service Medal 2nd clasp today. Both are veteran fireground commanders and dedicated trainers, assessors and mentors to their fellow volunteers.

“It is an honour to be presenting long-standing Mendooran Rural Fire Brigade members Wallace Monk and Noel Smith with their Long Service Medal 5th clasp in recognition of their 66 and 67 years of service respectively and I sincerely thank them for their dedication and commitment.”

During a ceremony at the new Fire Control Centre, Mr Humphries, Mr Shinton and Commissioner Fitzsimmons handed over five new vehicles - one Category 1 tanker to the Urabrible Rural Fire Brigade (RFB), a Category 6 tanker to the Gowang RFB and three vehicles to the Castlereagh Support Brigade.

Mr Humphries said the new $3.8 million Castlereagh Zone Fire Control Centre, located in Saleyards Road, Coonabarabran, will enable the NSW RFS to provide an even greater level of fire protection to the local community.

“The investment in providing a modern Fire Control Centre and five new vehicles to local brigades will ensure volunteers have the resources and equipment required to protect their community and provide peace of mind to residents in the Castlereagh Zone,” Mr Humphries said.

Mr Shinton said the Warrumbungle council has a close working relationship with the NSW RFS and the new Fire Control Centre is a prime example of local government working with emergency services to deliver important infrastructure to the local community.

The new facility features an operations room, training room, a training yard, office area with workstations, a five bay storage shed and workshop as well as meeting rooms and a kitchen.

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