More than 80 Rural Fire Service volunteers from the Hawkesbury District were recognised for their service at Panthers in North Richmond on Thursday, the 2nd of November, 2023.
The RFS Deputy Commissioner Peter McKechnie, Superintendent Karen Hodges AFSM, and RFS members and their families and friends joined the awards presentation, which started at 7:15 PM and concluded at 9:25 PM.
Councilor Les Sheather represented the Mayor of the Hawkesbury City Council, Sarah McMahon. At the same time, Mr Reg Court attended on behalf of Member of Hawkesbury Robyn Preston MP.
Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman MP, Councilor Amanda Kotlash, and Councilor Mary Lyons-Buckett also participated in the awarding.
During the Hawkesbury Rural Fire District National Emergency Medal, National Medal & Long Service Awards Presentation, the Deputy Commissioner mentioned how the volunteers had accumulated about 1,900 years of service to the community.
Fifty-four members were awarded Long Service Medals and clasps, ranging from 11 to 69 years, for continuous service.
The Deputy Commissioner presented 28 National Medals for volunteers who have significantly exceeded their expectations. At the same time, six individuals received a National Emergency Medal for their contribution during the 2019 – 2020 fire season.
“I would like to make special mention of Julia Petrikas, a Life Member of the Tennyson Rural Fire Brigade, who is recognised for an impressive 69 years of dedicated service,” the Deputy Commissioner said.
“Julia has been a member of the Brigade since 1954, originally supporting her late husband Dick who was a founding member and more recently has been acknowledged for her significant contributions during the 2019/2020 fire season.
“Members of the Hawkesbury District have always answered the call, not only assisting with incidents locally but across the state,” he said.
“The RFS members being celebrated tonight have and continue to give their time, to not only protect their communities, but to carry out critical behind-the-scenes work, like catering and planning, which enables our frontline firefighters to do their job. Deputy Commissioner McKechnie thanked those who supported the volunteers and members during the ceremony.
“I thank the family, friends, employers and colleagues of all RFS volunteers,” he said.
“We know it takes their ongoing support and patience to assist and enable our volunteers to do what they do to save lives and property.”
About a month ago, the Rural Fire Service volunteers from the Hills were also recognised on the 15th of October 2023 for their service to the community.
The complete list of medal recipients is accessible via the Kurrajong Heights Rural Fire Service website here.