The hard work and dedication of six members of the Bingara unit of New South Wales Fire Brigades were recognised recently in a gathering of the crew, their families and distinguished guests at the RSL club.
Inspector Kim Simpson, third from left with Medal recipients, Michael Hayes, Stan Fletcher, David Withers, John Gill and Steve Apthorpe.
Captain John Gill welcomed Inspector Kim Simpson from NSWFS Sydney headquarters, also Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton, Chairman of the local emergency services, Cr. Peter Pankhurst, Jenny Hawkins, Geoff and Narelle Morton, Capt Colin Cuell from Warialda Fire Brigade and Scott Pollard from the Rural Bushfire Service.
Insp. Simpson was asked to present the medals to past member David Withers who received the National Medal, along with long service, good conduct and retirement medals, Deputy Captain Stan Fletcher who also received the National medal and long service and good conduct medals.
The National medal recognises long service in organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members.
A person must have served 15 years to qualify for the medal and it is deemed a great honour to be presented with one.
Long service and good conduct medals were presented to Retained member, Steven Apthorpe and past members Michael Hayes.
Another past member, Christopher Boyle was unable to attend to function to receive his medals.
Captain John Gill was presented with a long service medal for 35 years in the service.
Inspector Simpson said this was an exceptional dedication to the service and called for another “twenty years” from Captain Gill.
Deputy Captain Stan Fletcher also presented past member David Withers with a plaque on behalf of all Bingara retained fire fighter members as a retirement gift in thanks for all his years working alongside them to serve the Bingara community.
Mayor John Coulton thanked the NSW Fire Service for including the shire in the night’s celebration. He made note of the wonderful service the firefighters provide and wished them all the best for the future.
Captain Gill thanked all the Bingara retained firefighters for their hard work, especially as the unit is still struggling for numbers.
Anyone interested in joining the Bingara fire brigade is urged to contact Captain John Gill.