A group of State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers that helped find a missing toddler at a remote cattle station and a firefighter who created a program for hearing-impaired children were among those honoured at the WA Fire and Emergency Services Awards last night.
The annual awards recognise individuals and teams who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their role as emergency services personnel.
In the SES Awards category, Newman SES took out the Team Achievement Award for 2020, having played an integral role in finding a missing toddler on a flood-affected Pilbara cattle station in January.
For his commitment to learning Auslan and developing a program to help hearing-impaired people prepare for emergencies, Senior Firefighter Michael Hatfield from Midland Fire Station received the Career Fire and Rescue Service Award.
Marine Rescue Coral Bay and Marine Rescue Exmouth received the Marine Rescue Award for Outstanding Group Operations, in recognition of their response when a vessel capsized in Coral Bay in the middle of the night. Tragically, two people lost their lives during this incident.
The Murray Lang Bush Fire Service Award went to Murray McGregor of Northam Central Bush Fire Brigade, who in less than 12 months expanded the membership of the new brigade from just three to 20 firefighters.
Jeremiah Peters was honoured with the Youth Achievement Award in the State Emergency Services Awards category, having taken on the role of Deputy Manager of Mount Barker SES at 19 years old. He has led the team during several incidents, including the successful rescue of six people in the Porongurup National Park.
In a new category this year, Department of Fire and Emergency Services employee Shelley Staff was recognised for her contribution to COVID-19 operations, including developing the DFES Pandemic Response Plan which required extensive research and inter-agency collaboration.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“Congratulations to all of the award recipients for their outstanding commitment to keeping their communities safe.
“These people went above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating exceptional professionalism, leadership and dedication in their roles as emergency services personnel.
“Volunteer and career personnel have an integral role working together as first responders, saving lives and building safer communities.
“It is pleasing to see the achievements of youth recognised – they are the leaders of the future and it is imperative we support and encourage them in voluntary roles.”