Praise for New England’s long-standing volunteer firefighters


Some of the New England area’s most experienced volunteer firefighters have been celebrated today for their longstanding commitment to helping protect their local communities from the destruction of fire.

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

Assistant Commissioner Yorke said some of the members being presented with Long Service Medals today had been Brigade members for over 50 years.

“I would like to make particular mention of John (Jack) Thrift who has been a member for 62 years,” Assistant Commissioner Yorke said.

“Mr Jack Thrift is currently a member of the Ben Lomond Brigade, New England Catering and New England Communications.

“He has held the rank of Captain and Catering Senior Deputy Captain during his time with the RFS.

"He is a shining example of the steadfast dedication demonstrated by NSW RFS volunteer firefighters across the state.”

Assistant Commissioner Yorke also made a particular mention of Mark Fox who received a National Medal and Long Service medal today.

“Mr Mark Fox held the rank of Deputy Captain from 1986 to 2001. During the 2000/2001 fire season he showed great leadership while managing a 3000 ha fire at Bakers Creek,” Assistant Commissioner Yorke said.

“Mark has consistently attended incidents over his 32 years in the service.”

Assistant Commissioner Yorke 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,” Assistant Commissioner Yorke said.

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