NSW RFS celebrates dedicated volunteers and new building


Some of the Mid Coast District's most experienced volunteer firefighters have been celebrated today for helping to protect their local communities from the ravages of fire.

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers acknowledged the unwavering dedication of these volunteers and thanked them for selflessly giving up their time.

Deputy Commissioner Rogers said many of the members being presented with Long Service Medals today had been Brigade members for more than 30 years.

"I would like to make particular mention of Stephen Ostler and Desmond Freeman, who have been members for 44 and 50 years respectively," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.

"Stephen had his first introduction to firefighting when his father pulled him out of bed in 1969 to help save the family paddock and milking bails. Since then he has served in various positions including Captain and training officer.

"Des brings practical skills with motors and pumps and other mechanical equipment, local geographical knowledge and a depth of practical experience to less experienced firefighters.

"Both of these members are shining examples of the steadfast dedication demonstrated by NSW RFS volunteer firefighters right across the state."

Deputy Commissioner Rogers said everyone living in the region is aware of the hard work, and commitment that comes with being a NSW RFS volunteer.

"Whether it's responding to bush fire emergencies, like those we've seen in recent times, or assisting with flood rescue and recovery, our volunteers are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.

"While these volunteers certainly don't expect awards or accolades, all of them are most worthy of our sincere gratitude and thanks."

Deputy Commissioner Rogers also had the honour of opening the Pappinbarra Rural Fire Brigade station today.

"The Pappinbarra Brigade outgrew their last station and so did their fire trucks which was a single bay station with no facilities.

"The brigade is understandably thrilled that they now have the space to comfortably move around their new station, which features tow bays, meeting rooms and facilities to make the station more functional."