Attending a special service for emergency workers were SES volunteer Raymond de la Porte (left), SES chaplain Ben Richardson, unit controller Stuart Ferguson and his wife deputy team leader Sue Ferguson.
Attending a special service for emergency workers were SES volunteer Raymond de la Porte (left), SES chaplain Ben Richardson, unit controller Stuart Ferguson and his wife deputy team leader Sue Ferguson. David Nielsen

Region thanks emergency services

THEY DO so much for our communities, but are rarely recognised for their heroic efforts.

Yesterday, the region’s emergency services personnel were thanked at the 10th annual service of thanksgiving, in Lismore.

“We work together so well during times of disaster and this is a time to say thank you,” said retiring SES haplain Ben Richardson, who has spent the past seven years helping volunteers cope with grief.

Held at the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter base, the service included prayers of thanksgiving and a blessing of the personnel and equipment.

The service recognised the important work of the rescue helicopter, local units of the State Emergency Service, Volunteer Rescue Association, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Fire Brigades, Surf Life Saving Australia, and the NSW Police Force.

“These people continue to workwithout thought for self, or outcome, bringing life-giving aid and empathy to those in need,” Northern Rivers ambulance chaplain Reverend Graeme Davis said.

Mr Richardson said this year’s service was especially significant as it marked 12 months since the Victorian bushfires, during which many local emergency teams provided essential assistance.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter performed its 6000th rescue in November 2009.

“Can anyone imagine what this community would do if we did not have such an essential life line at our disposal,” asked Rev Davis.



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