The achievements of 114 emergency services personnel from the Mid-West Gascoyne region were recognised at a formal ceremony in Geraldton today.
Career and volunteer firefighters from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and personnel from the State Emergency Service (SES), Marine Rescue, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and St John WA were acknowledged for their significant contributions.
In the past 12 months, emergency services in the Mid-West Gascoyne region have responded to more than 1,200 incidents ranging from bushfires, floods and storms to road crashes.
A number of medals and clasps recognising decades of service were handed out to long-serving locals.
Joe McLaughlin from Shark Bay SES received a fourth clasp to his National Medal, celebrating 55 years in emergency services.
Mr McLaughlin joined the North Dinninup Bush Fire Brigade in January 1966, later serving as a Deputy Chief Bush Fire Control Officer with the Shire of Boyup Brook. He relocated to Shark Bay and volunteered with the local Marine Rescue and SES groups in a variety of roles.
David Bagley from Yandanooka Bush Fire Brigade received a 30-year Bush Fire Brigade clasp in recognition of his excellent service. An active member of Yandanooka since 1990, Mr Bagley has held the role of 3rd Lieutenant.
Local Manager of the Moora SES, Hugh Bryan, received a 35-year clasp for his outstanding service. Mr Bryan has also volunteered with the Moora Town Bush Fire Brigade and is currently an active member of the Bindi Bindi Bush Fire Brigade.
Jurien Bay Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) member Robert Garrett was recognised for his diligent service with a 10-year medal and 15-year clasp. Beginning his service with Merredin VFRS in 2000, Mr Garrett later relocated to Jurien Bay.
Kalbarri Marine Rescue’s Dorothea McLaren was honoured with a 20-year clasp for her outstanding service. Ms McLaren retired in late 2021.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“From natural hazards such as bushfires, floods and storms, to attending search and rescues and road crashes, emergency services have a critical role in keeping Western Australians safe.
“In Western Australia, we are extremely lucky to have dedicated emergency services personnel who are prepared to assist not only their local communities but also in interstate and international jurisdictions.
“Those receiving National Medal Clasps today are celebrating a combined 1,030 years’ service to emergency services in Western Australia.
“These awards are a fitting tribute to the dedicated and hard-working people who have a profound impact on their community.”