There were double celebrations for members of the Burdekin Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) in Home Hill overnight with a dinner to mark their 50th anniversary and a medal ceremony to recognise the exemplary service of their members.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said he welcomed the opportunity to celebrate this significant milestone and celebrate the VMR members who received medals.
“Our dedicated marine rescue volunteers provide a vital service keeping Queenslanders safe,” Mr Ryan said.
“Burdekin VMR has been looking after their local boating community for 50 years, which is an incredible achievement.
“From humble beginnings using private vessels for rescues and a caravan for their radio building, they have shown fortitude and resilience to get to this point today.
“It all started in 1971when a group of Burdekin boaties wanted to look out for each other and visitors to the region.
“Over time, this feeling hasn’t changed, and our volunteers continue to put community safety at the forefront of what they do.
“As testament to their hard work and dedication, we presented National Emergency Medals to 20 VMR members tonight in recognition of their selfless actions during the 2019 North Queensland floods.
“Marine rescue volunteers are often required to put themselves in complex and high-risk environments to assist others.
“That’s why the state government has recently committed more than $35 million to better support volunteer marine rescue in Queensland.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Assistant Commissioner Steve Barber, who attended the function, said the longstanding Burdekin VMR unit is a credit to its members, past and present.
“The dedication and loyalty of these volunteers, to the service of their communities in times of need, is exemplary,” Mr Barber said.
“Emergency response in Queensland would be possible without the thousands of volunteers who put their hands up, day in and day out, when the community calls for help.”