A career firefighter who has served Western Australia for 45 years was among more than 200 personnel honoured at an awards ceremony for emergency services in Perth yesterday.
Station Officer Jeffrey Patience was the longest-serving firefighter receiving the Emergency Services Diligent Service Medal, having begun his 45-year career in 1975.
Additionally, this year’s awards included three third clasps for National Medals, two 40-year Diligent Service Medal clasps and 70 medals for 25 years of service.
A total of 379 awards were issued to 235 recipients, acknowledging their commitment to community safety over a minimum of 10 years.
The ceremony featured the presentation of the National Medal, which recognises long service of people who protect life and property; and the Emergency Services Diligent Service Medal, bestowed upon career firefighters and corporate staff within the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
The National Medal is administered as part of the Australian Honours and Awards system, while the Emergency Services Diligent Service Medal is administered by DFES. They are awarded after 15 and 10 years respectively, with clasps added for additional years of service.
The 235 recipients have given a combined 4,889 years of service, working on the front line and in non-operational roles to protect the community.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“A career in emergency services requires compassion and self-sacrifice.
“It can be extremely demanding, which is why we come together every year to honour those who have reached significant milestones.
“It’s incredibly valuable to have long-serving staff and personnel who can pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of emergency services.
“On behalf of all Western Australians, I thank all of the award recipients for putting their community first and keeping our State safe.”
NOTE: Some recipients received the National Medal and the Emergency Services Diligent Service Medal.