24 August 2022

490 years of volunteer service to Lake George RFS Zone

| Alex Rea
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Members of the Lake George Zone RFS at the Awards ceremony. Back row L to R: Manager for Lake George Zone Superintendent Paul Jones, Ross Mitchell (Queanbeyan); John Rolfe (Nerriga); Craig Green (Queanbeyan); Scott Hart (Braidwood); Rodney Bishop (Jerra Ck); Wal Hick (front – Jerra Ck); Tom Gibbs (rear – Jerra Ck); Ross Cattoi (front – Mulloon); Andrew Price (rear – Mulloon); David Hanzl (Carwoola); Harry Lok (Boro Mt Fairy); Tim Allen (Jerra Ck); Robert Jame (Jerra Ck); Stephen Graham (Jerra Ck); Ken King (Bungendore); david Temby (Bungendore); Cr Pete Harrison; Mayor Tim Overall; & Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. Seated: Anne McVilly (Mulloon); Jenny Dewson (Lake George Support); Yvette Polonyi (Lake George Support); Kathleen Harvey (Lake George Support); Lisa Hanzl (Carwoola); Heike Apps (Jerra Ck); Vicki McWhirter (Ridgeway).Photo Supplied.

Where would we be without the NSW Rural Fire Service?

Ever at the ready for times of crisis, the RFS is a service that enables the continued security of our lives in rural areas.

Last week, more than 490 years of volunteer service to the RFS was recognised in the Lake George Zone.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM joined local volunteers to present 22 Long Service Medals and eight National Medals at a special ceremony at the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council chambers.

“These members do not volunteer their time for the accolades, however these medals are a proud acknowledgment of the commitment shown by these individuals over the years,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“I personally extend my gratitude to all of our dedicated firefighters for their continued service to and for the community.”

Chris McGrath officiating at the Braidwood Central School Fire Cadets awards ceremony in 2018. Photo Alex Rea

Commissioner Fitzsimmons presented Christine McGrath from Braidwood with the Third Clasp of her NSW RFS Long Service Medal.

“Chris has been a dedicated volunteer member of the NSW RFS for 43 years after joining Bombay Brigade in 1975,” he said.

She recently joined the Lake George Support Unit after a time with the Palerang Communications unit in 2015.

“Today Chris continues to be a valued member of the Bombay Brigade attending fires and other emergency incidents and also coordinates the running of the Braidwood cadets, just some of the many roles she currently undertakes.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons also acknowledged the contribution of John Rolfe, who received the first and second Clasp of his National Medal in recognition of his 44 years of service to the community.

“John has been a diligent member of the NSW RFS for an exceptional period of time for which we are truly grateful,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“He has been a member since 1975 and continues to provide leadership and expertise to his brigade.”

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said that each volunteer being recognised had demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to their community.

John Rolfe of Nerriga brigade receiving National medal with two clasps for 44 years of service. Photo Supplied.

Braidwood RFS Captain Scott Hart received National Medal and two clasps for 36 years of service.

“I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to all the NSW RFS staff and volunteers who continue to work hard for their communities,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“We must also thank the family, friends, employers and colleagues of these and all volunteers. We know it takes their support and patience to help Rural Fire Service members do what they do.”

Scott Hart, Braidwood Captain, received National Medal and two clasps for 36 years of service. Pictured with Superintendent Paul Jones, Shane Fitzsimmons Commissioner of NSW RFS, QPRC Mayor Tim Overall and Cr Harrison. Photo Supplied.

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