Marine Rescue volunteers who saved the life of a fisherman and a firefighter who tripled the number of women volunteering at her brigade were among the outstanding personnel honoured last night at the WA Fire and Emergency Services Awards.
The annual honours, which recognise outstanding contributions to emergency services, saw awards presented to groups and individuals across 16 categories.
Marine Rescue Albany received the Award for Outstanding Group Operations for saving a fisherman who was washed adrift and spent two hours in the ocean in February this year.
Merredin’s Sheree Lowe took out the Western Australian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Award for her work in supporting women to become volunteer firefighters, which led to a three-fold increase in the number of female personnel at her brigade.
The State Emergency Service Team Achievement Award was presented to the Communications Support Unit for building an essential piece of communications equipment that assisted the incident management teams at the Red Gully and Wooroloo bushfires.
The Kalbarri Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service took out the Firefighting Team Achievement Award, working tirelessly and racking up almost 1,300 combined hours to help the community recover from Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
James Taylor, Captain of Broome Regional Bush Fire Brigade, was awarded the Murray Lang Bush Fire Service Award for his extraordinary efforts in fundraising, recruiting new volunteers and his involvement in the development of a new fire station.
And the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Operational Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution went to Area Officer Andrew Thompson AFSM for his dedication to mentoring at-risk youth and promoting mental health initiatives among volunteers.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby:
“I want to congratulate all the winners on their inspirational achievements and also acknowledge the other finalists, who should be proud of their efforts over the past year.
“All of our award nominees have worked selflessly at an incredible pace and in challenging circumstances, demonstrating great commitment to their role.
“They have made an invaluable contribution to Western Australia, protecting lives and properties in their local communities.
“The WAFES awards are a reminder for all Western Australians to acknowledge our first responders and thank them for their efforts in making this a safer State.”