Royal treatment for RFS volunteers


A group of volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) came face to face with royalty today at an official reception in Sydney with His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said all of the volunteers who attended had made an outstanding contribution to the community through their volunteering work.

"Nine of our most exemplary volunteers had the chance to speak with His Royal Highness at the informal reception today, while mingling with other members of the Emergency Services.

"All NSW RFS members deserve our gratitude but I'd like to make particular mention of two volunteers who consistently go over and above the call of duty.

"Gail Meyers led her brigade during the devastating Gilgandra main street fire that destroyed several businesses and damaged others in June 2009.

"Gail's skills are regularly called upon to assist during emergencies in other areas, such as helping her Victorian colleagues during the Black Saturday fires and more recently lending a hand with the flood clean–up effort in Moree.

"Her excellent leadership skills have been recognised by her own brigade members, who have elected her as Captain of the Gilgandra Brigade for five years running.

"Craig Bardney is another inspirational member of the NSW RFS. He is one of these people who remain a positive, motivating force in even the most trying of circumstances.

"A good example was in March this year when the township of Yenda was hit by a huge deluge of water, resulting in a mammoth recovery effort by the emergency services.

"Craig successfully coordinated the clean-up of hundreds of homes and businesses while his own farm and rice crop were under water, and stayed that way until Craig had finished assisting others.

"These are the stories of just two of the inspirational volunteers that make up our 70,000–person-strong volunteer firefighting force.

Every single NSW RFS volunteer has courageous stories to tell and it is wonderful to see the work our volunteers do 24 hours a day 7 days a week recognised by His Royal Highness," said Commissioner Fitzsimmons.

Attached files:

Contact Name: State Duty Media Officer

Contact Phone: 02 9898 1855