Compassion and dedication recognised during RFS Week

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Twenty-eight dedicated Bundaberg volunteers were acknowledged in a medal presentation today for their hard work and commitment as part of Rural Fire Service Week.

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith, representing Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan, said the highlight of the event was the State Young Volunteer of the Year.

“The State Young Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an individual between 16 and 25 years, who has consistently demonstrated an outstanding voluntary commitment to Queensland,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s an amazing achievement at a young age and sets a great example for the next generation of volunteers.

“The winner’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude make them a highly valuable member of their brigade.”

Caitlyn Simpkins-Field of Branyan Rural Fire Brigade won the award for her outstanding compassion, support, commitment and diligence to the brigade and the community.

“I was overwhelmed, excited and very happy to hear about the award,” Caitlyn said.

“I joined the RFS for the opportunity to help our community in times of need, whether it’s on the fire ground or in an Incident Control Centre.

“For someone thinking of joining, attend a local open day – it’s fun and informative. Go along to your brigade’s training day or night where you’ll learn a lot and find out if you’ll enjoy it.”

Minister Ryan said the work done by RFS volunteers was invaluable.

“They provide not only great support for the community but great comfort to people who know they will not be left on their own in an emergency or time of need,” the Minister said.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of communities – people who place the needs of friends and neighbours often before even their own.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said 39 medals and claps and 25 certificates were presented to Bundaberg Area Rural Fire Service staff and volunteers.

“Our volunteers work tirelessly to protect and serve with the community and that effort does not go unnoticed,” Deputy Commissioner Wassing said.

“Each award recipient has demonstrated QFES’ core values of respect, integrity, courage, loyalty and trust, and we thank them for their service.

“Congratulations to all of our award recipients for supporting their communities when they need it most.”

Twelve volunteers received the National Medal for 15 years of long and diligent service. Three volunteers received the 1st clasp for 25 years of service, and one volunteer received the 2nd clasp for 35 years of service.

Sixteen volunteers received the QFES Medal for 10 years of service and four volunteers received the 1st clasp for 20 years of commitment to ethical standards and personal integrity. One volunteer received the Diligent and Ethical Service Medal 1st clasp for 20 years, and one volunteer received the Diligent and Ethical Service Medal 3rd clasp for 40 years.

Twenty-five volunteers received a Commissioner’s Commendation for their work during the North Queensland Floods in 2019, and one volunteer was awarded the National Emergency Medal for their work during Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

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