Darling Downs volunteers bestowed awards for excellence

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

A south western Queensland man dedicated to volunteering with the Rural Fire Service has been awarded as one the region’s best.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan MP said Maurice (Pat) Forrest had been named as South Western Region’s RFS Volunteer of the Year.

“Pat has shown true dedication to the Felton Broxburn brigade by acquiring land and contributing to the station build project, which was officially opened in October 2021,” Minister Ryan said.

“Pat showed operational excellence during the Peachey and Crow’s Nest fires in 2019, which devastated the Darling Downs area.

“He has also delivered a training program to brigades within the Pittsworth area, enhancing the relationship with local brigades and increasing the operational readiness and capability of the area.

“During his time with the RFS, he has demonstrated outstanding compassion, support, commitment and diligence to his brigade, and I thank him for that.

“It is thanks to volunteers like Pat we are able to support our community during tough times, whether that be bushfires, floods or storms.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Acting Assistant Commissioner South Western Region, Mark Stuart, said alongside Pat, a group of 14 volunteers, one posthumous award, two retired volunteers and one retired staff member would also receive prestigious awards to acknowledge their service with the RFS.

“Eight volunteers will receive the National Medal for 15 years of service (including one posthumous award), with three volunteers to receive the 1st Clasp to their National Medal for 25 years of service and three volunteers to receive the 2nd Clasp to their National Medal for 35 years of service.

“Six volunteers will receive the QFES Medal for 10 years of commitment to ethical standards (including one posthumous award), and one volunteer will receive the 1st Clasp to the QFES Medal for 20 years of service.

“One volunteer and one retired staff member will receive the 1st Clasp to their Diligent and Ethical Service Medal (DESM) for 20 years of commitment to ethical standards and two volunteers will receive the 3rd Clasp to the DESM for 40 years of service.

“One volunteer will receive the National Emergency Medal to recognise their operational service for Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

“Each of the medal and clasp recipients have given extraordinary service that goes above and beyond the normal expectations of their role.

“They do this not for thanks or recognition, but because they are committed to working hand-in-hand with their communities to build resilience.”

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