Jandabup trench rescuers honoured at emergency services awards

  • Officers who saved eight-year-old boy stuck in trench receive highest DFES community contributions award
  • Awards ceremony also recognised 195 emergency services personnel for long-standing, diligent service
  • Officers have contributed more than 3,280 years of service to emergency services

The challenging and difficult rescue of eight-year-old Riley Stiles, who was trapped in a trench in Jandabup, was recognised today at the National Medal and Emergency Services Diligent Service Medal ceremony.

The actions of Malaga Career Fire and Rescue Service firefighters to secure the edges of a collapsing trench and work through a highly complicated rescue saved the life of eight-year-old Riley Stiles.

Malaga Station Officer Alan Phoenix and firefighters Mark Flower, Michael Bryan and Paulo Eraclides were the first firefighters on the scene in November 2017 and were faced with an extremely complicated and dangerous rescue.

The officers today received the Certificate of Commendation for their actions. The certificate is the highest DFES award for significant community contributions.

Also recognised were District Officer Phillip Brandrett, Project Services Manager Matthew Goodwin and Murdoch Station Officer Ronald Bailey who each received a Certificate of Distinction for their outstanding contributions to DFES in the areas of safety, peer support and facility construction.

Station Officer Bailey was in particular recognised for his innovative suggestion to house an emergency switch in appliances that helps firefighters make a quick escape during a burn over. This key safety feature has been implemented in all urban pumps across the DFES fleet.

The awards ceremony also acknowledged more than 3,280 years of service with 195 career firefighters and staff qualifying for long and diligent service medals.

As noted by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:

“The WA community is fortunate that whatever the situation, we have highly skilled and trained personnel who are ready to respond at a moment’s notice.

“I heard firsthand from one of the officers involved in the rescue of Riley Stiles, and it was extremely fortunate that those officers who were on duty that day had the right skills and experience to rescue Riley.

“It was a very unusual rescue in a high-stress environment with an extremely distressed little boy.

“Those officers are just some of many emergency services personnel across Western Australia who do such a great job saving us from harm.

“This not only includes our firefighters and emergency services personnel on the frontline, but also those working diligently behind the scenes, for example providing mapping support or working in IT.

“On behalf of the Western Australian community and the McGowan Labor Government, I congratulate all of the recipients on their outstanding achievements.”

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