Orchard Hills Rural Fire Brigade marks 50th anniversary and recognises long serving members


NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Cumberland District members celebrated the 50th anniversary of Orchard Hills Brigade today and presented long service medals and national medals.

NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner, Peter McKechnie joined State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres MP, Deputy Mayor Penrith Council, Cr Tricia Hitchen and a host of other special guests to congratulate members past and present for building up the brigade into the community focal point it is today.

“This Brigade has a proud history and has put in a lot of effort developing its members over the years and strengthening its relationship with the community,” Deputy Commissioner McKechnie said.

“The brigade was established in 1970 and has proved to be a busy and involved team, attending every major fire in the area during that time.”

He said the Orchard Hills Brigade had grown to 77 members with many applications received since the Black Summer bush fires.

“The Brigade has started a Cadet Brigade due to the current interest in the community and has 25 junior members between the ages of 12 and 15,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner McKechnie said the event was an opportunity to congratulate the brigade on this significant milestone and to thank members for their ongoing commitment and service.

“We also congratulate five members of the Orchard Hills Brigade who have received long service medals and/or clasps today with 101 years of combined service. Jason Davis (24 years’ service) and Matthew Webb (27 years’ service) also received their national medals for service which has gone above and beyond normal expectations.

“The hard work and professionalism of all NSW RFS members does not go unnoticed and while they do not ask for praise, we should take this milestone to acknowledge their contribution and commitment to their community.”

He said the Cumberland District is afforded a world-class level of fire protection due to the experience and dedication of its 19 Rural Fire Brigades.

“We must also thank the family, friends, employers and colleagues of these and all volunteers. We know it takes their support to help our members do what they do to save lives and property,” Deputy Commissioner McKechnie said.

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