Chopper stalwart honoured
A MAN who has spent the past 18 years helping to save lives as part of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service was presented with a National Medal yesterday.
The helicopter's crew chief, Roger Fry, was presented with the medal, which recognises long and diligent service by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations who risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community.
Mr Fry began his career with the Australian Air Force at the age of 17 working as a safety officer.
He joined the Westpac aircrew on the Northern Rivers in 1996 and was promoted to crew chief two years later.
Mr Fry said he had known that the general manager of Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, Kris Beavis, had been trying to get Mr Fry this award for about three years, but said he had been "dodging" it, as he was not one to enjoy a fuss.
However, he said it was "nice to be recognised" for his years of service and all the hard work he and his workmates put in day in, day out.
It was a love for his job that kept him working at the service for almost 18 years now, he said.
"There's never a dull day, never two days the same," he said.
"I'm very proud to be part of this service, this organisation and this community."
He said his favourite part of the job was the community involvement and getting to meet and talk to so many people from various walks of life.
Page MP Kevin Hogan presented Mr Fry with the medal and said he was very pleased to do so.
"Many people will know Roger personally, others may not, but there are only a few whose lives he hasn't touched in some way by his role with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Service," Mr Hogan said.
"Roger is one of those typical Aussie heroes who prefers to fly under the radar, but it is important to recognise the work he has done."