Firies commended for flood work
NINE Northern Rivers firefighters have received commendations for outstanding efforts during the Coffs Harbour floods.
Getting their awards at a NSW Fire Brigade conference in Ballina at the weekend were (from Ballina) deputy captains Bruce Keys and Joel Peters, and firefighters Christopher Hackett and Heather Peal; (from Casino) Captain Craig Casey, station officer Gregory McCall, and firefighters Robyn Stokes, Benjamin Summers and Damien Townsend.
The firefighters were acknowledged for their exemplary service to Newry Island and Urunga residents following a severe storm earlier this year in March.
They carried out evacuations and rescues from homes and cars in dangerous, fast-flowing floodwaters.
Retired captains Kevin Muldoon and Des Fairful, both recipients of the Australian Fire Service Medal for their contributions to the service, were honoured at a special function on Saturday night.
Capt Fairful joined the service in 1959 going on to become captain of the Lismore Brigade in 1983.
Capt Muldoon joined in 1964 becoming captain of the Goonellabah Station in 1976.
The two firefighters represent almost a century of service between them.
Superintendent Chris Fabri affectionately introduced the local legends, taking the chance to acknowledge not only the men themselves, but the self-confessed secret behind their successes – their wives, Glenna Fairful and Rhonda Muldoon.
Twenty Northern Rivers fire station commanders gathered for the annual conference to get the latest information and research on operational procedures and skills maintenance.
The conference also covered issues such as occupational health and safety, human resources and finance.