Hawkesbury volunteers honoured for Black Summer service

NSW Government

Almost 300 members of the NSW Rural Fire Service’s (RFS) Hawkesbury District are being awarded the National Emergency Medal for their efforts during the 2019-20 Black Summer bush fires.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said 143 volunteers and staff are receiving their awards at a ceremony in North Richmond tonight, with a further 129 honoured at a ceremony last week.

“Our RFS members from the Hawkesbury District played an integral part in the firefighting response during that horror bush fire season, as is evident by the sheer number of personnel receiving this award,” Ms Cooke said.

“While I’m so pleased to be able to honour their efforts from disasters of past years, I also want to thank them for keeping us safe and assisting the SES during this year’s multiple flooding emergencies.”

Member for Hawkesbury Robyn Preston said a total of 700 members from the Hawkesbury District fought against the Gospers Mountain bush fire which burnt more than one million hectares.

“These men and women continue to be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect their communities from a range of risks and hazards,” Ms Preston said.

“During Black Summer they assisted locally and also deployed to regions across the State to protect communities, and I’m extremely proud of their contributions.”

RFS Assistant Commissioner Mathew Smith praised each medal recipient for their courage and commitment.

“I also congratulate the Hawkesbury District members who have been awarded the National Medal and Long Services Medals at these two ceremonies,” Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

“Every single one of these members should be proud of themselves and their dedication to protecting communities in the Hawkesbury and across the State.”

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