Far North Queensland Emergency Service members honoured at awards ceremony

A Cairns auxiliary firefighter who rose through the ranks to become Inspector of Southern Command, Craig Nolan, is one of five Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) staff who received a service medal at an awards ceremony in Cairns today.

QFES members from Far Northern Region joined Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) staff at the combined awards ceremony.

Member for Barron River and Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford MP presented the medals and clasps to QFES members with QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll.

“It is an honour to recognise the hard work and dedication of emergency service personnel and these medals and clasps demonstrate the commitment the recipients have to serving the Cairns community,” Mr Crawford said.

“The work they do is difficult – physically and sometimes emotionally – so to be able to recognise these staff for years of service is a real testament to their dedication to the job.”

QFES award recipients will receive National Medals and QFES Medals and clasps to recognise their work over a long period of service.

The five QFES staff awarded medals and clasps during the ceremony were auxiliary firefighter Andrew Soderberg (National Medal); auxiliary firefighter Kerryn Waters (QFES Medal); ex-auxiliary firefighter Geoffrey Stansfield (National Medal); Senior Firefighter Philip Catling (National Medal 1st clasp); Station Officer Paul Dilena (National Medal 1st Clasp, QFES Medal and QFES Medal 1st Clasp); and Inspector Craig Nolan (National Medal).

Inspector Nolan joined the Cairns South Fire Station in 2002.

“I’ve always had a community focus and volunteered with my kids’ sporting groups and becoming a firefighter was just helping people in this space instead,” he said.

Inspector Nolan has lived in Far North Queensland for more than 20 years, from becoming a senior firefighter in 2006, a Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) unit manager and regional trainer, to working with mine rescue and the G20, and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games operations.

“You can’t make it up when you look back at what you do,” he said.

Commissioner Carroll said all medal and clasp recipients had demonstrated high levels of professionalism in their roles.

“This award ceremony not only celebrates the work of QFES, QPS and AFP, but also the strong partnership between these agencies that keep our communities safe,” Ms Carroll said.

“The recipients have made exceptional contributions to their communities and should be proud of their achievements.

“I am honoured to acknowledge the contribution these emergency workers have made to Queensland.”

The National Medal recognises 15 years of service and the efforts of staff who dedicate themselves to protecting life and property in their community, at some risk to themselves. A clasp is awarded to a National Medal for each additional 10 years of service

The QFES Medal provides recognition of demonstrated commitment to ethical standards, personal integrity and diligent service over a prolonged period. Members of QFES’ workforce, paid and volunteer, who have been engaged by the department for 10 years are eligible for nomination for this award.

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