The prestigious Australian Fire Service Medal has been awarded to two Hawkesbury locals, Group Captain Ken Pullen from Kurrajong RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Deputy Commissioner, Jeremy Fewtrell who lives at Kurrajong Heights.
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Deputy Commissioner, Jeremy Fewtrell, was congratulated on his award by FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter who said the AFSM was the highest honour an Australian firefighter could receive.
“For more than 23 years, Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell has provided exemplary service to FRNSW and the NSW community,” he said. “With significant experience in field operations, fire investigation and research, community safety, operational capability and strategic capability, he continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership and an overwhelming commitment to keep NSW safe. This award recognises the outstanding contribution Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell has made not only to the NSW community but also to FRNSW throughout his career.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott also congratulated Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell for being honoured for his service. “Over the past year we have seen exceptional heroism from our Police and Emergency Services who were on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic bush fires,” he said.
“This is an opportunity to recognise those who have put their lives on the line to protect the community – and this honour is a reflection of our gratitude and thanks for their professionalism and selflessness. Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell exemplifies the resilience and mateship that are integral to our community.”
Commissioner Baxter said the wonderful work of Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell reflects FRNSW’s overriding purpose.
“We are committed to enhancing community safety, quality of life, and confidence by minimising the impact of hazards and emergency incidents on the people, property, environment and the economy of NSW,” he said. “As one of the world’s largest and busiest urban fire and rescue services in Australia, we are humbled by the prestigious recognition of our people.
“On behalf of FRNSW, I commend Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell, together with all those who have been honoured, on his outstanding achievements.”
Group Captain Ken Pullen has been an instrumental part of many firefighting operations across the Hawkesbury, commonly in a planning role due to his extensive knowledge of the area.
He is a well-respected member of the team, offering guidance and advice to all those who seek it.
He has been a member of the NSW RFS for more than 36 years, joining the Yarramundi Brigade in June 1984 and held numerous positions including President and Captain.
In 2006 Group Captain Pullen joined Kurrajong Brigade and has been actively involved in various roles. In 2015, he was appointed to the rank of Group Captain, a position he holds to this day.
His Citation reads:
“Group Captain Pullen has attended numerous fires within the District over his years of service and numerous out of area commitments. He is an integral part of the District Incident Management Team and the District’s Training Team. Group Captain Pullen has sacrificed work and family for many weeks at a time on Section 44s. He has fulfilled the planning role sharing his extensive knowledge of the Hawkesbury area.”
“Not only has Group Captain Pullen given dedicated service to the Hawkesbury community, he has also obtained qualifications such as Crew Leader, Group Leader, Prescribed Burning Supervisor, Develop Prescribed Burning Plans, Conduct Briefing and Debriefing, Rural Fire Service Assessor, Rural Fire Service Instructor, Rural Fire Service Training Facilitator, Incident Management Planning, Chainsaw Operator Trim and Crosscut and Rural Fire Driver.
“Group Captain Pullen is well-respected in the community and the NSW RFS community.” Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston congratulated him for his well-deserved honour. “Our community is safer and stronger because of those who put others safety ahead of their own. I am proud to congratulate such an outstanding member of our community, who has shown commitment to the people of this state during extremely challenging times.”