Eleven brigade members were presented with National Emergency Medals and two CFA fire trucks were handed over to Junortoun Fire Brigade and Heathcote Fire Brigade at Eppalock Group’s presentation event on Sunday, 27 October.
Around 120 people watched on as CFA Deputy Chief Officer Gregg Paterson presented National Emergency Medals to recipients from Junortoun, Heathcote and Mia Mia brigades.
Luke Carracher, Ray Mundy, Debbie Monti, Peter Patullo, Mark Zulian, Norman Bateson, Jeffrey Barber, Graeme Millard, Frederick Miller and Peter Bennett, were recognised for their individual response and service during the Black Saturday bushfires.
Additionally, a posthumous National Emergency Medal was awarded to Wayne Watts of Junortoun Fire Brigade and was accepted by members of his family.
For Mr Zulian, the Black Saturday bushfires were an extreme introduction to firefighting, as he was still on his probationary period when the fires broke out in Bendigo, while Mr Mundy was recognised for his involvement in the direct attack on the Redesdale Road fire in Kyneton before he was tasked with the blackout operation in Bendigo.
District 2 Commander Chris Jacobsen said the ceremony recognised the important service of a number of local firefighters during the 2009 fires which impacted the north western side of Bendigo.
“It’s important to acknowledge those who took part in protecting our local communities during the Black Saturday bushfires,” Mr Jacobsen said.
“This is a chance for the brigades that don’t get together as often to recognise the service from around the group.
Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan was in attendance to handover two new CFA fire trucks to members from Junortoun Fire Brigade and Heathcote Fire Brigade yesterday.
Heathcote Brigade received a new medium tanker appliance to replace a 47-year-old aging tanker as part of their fleet, while Junortoun Fire Brigade was handed a big fill tanker, which will enhance the pumping capacity of its fleet and enable better support to surrounding brigades.
“These new vehicles for the Junortoun Fire Brigade and the Heathcote Fire Brigade will help support the group and the surrounding areas for the upcoming fire season and beyond,” Commander Jacobsen said.
Commander Jacobsen also presented Brigade Service Awards to a number of members from Heathcote, Junortoun and Mandurang brigades for their years of service to the CFA.