Volunteer firefighters across the region have been recognised with citation awards from the NSW Premier handed out. Around 460 volunteers from the Gwydir, Moree and Narrabri area fought fires both home and away last summer over a period of around 5 months.
Last week the Gwydir volunteers gathered together to receive their citations. During the BBQ, several crews were called away to fight a grass fire between Warialda and Bingara which developed after a lightning strike.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked all of the volunteers, providing them with a citation, letter, commemorative pin and hat. “It is an honour to be able to recognise your contribution to the unprecedented 2019-2020 bushfire crisis. The bushfires of last summer were undoubtedly the worst natural disaster in the living memory of our state,” the Premier said in her letter.
“Without the action and efforts of people like you, the toll would have been far greater. Your selflessness, courage and resilience caused all of us to pause and think about the true meaning of family and community. You should be incredibly proud of the part you played in protecting your community when it needed you most. Your compassion, courage and generosity have earned you a special place in the history of our state. On behalf of the people of NSW we thank you,” she concluded.
Namoi/Gwydir Team Manager Michael Brooks has praised the membership of the local RFS crews. “They are the backbone of our organisation. Some are only able to help once every couple of years and other are involved every day. We value every single one of them,” he said. “We’re hoping for a wetter season this year. We’ve already been quite busy with harvest.”