On Friday August 3 the dedication and hard work of the Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service’s longest serving volunteers were honoured at the Blue Mountains District Medals Presentation on Friday August 3 held at the Mid Mountains Community Centre.

I along with NSW RFS Assistant Commissioner Stuart Midgley presented nine National Medals and 21 Long Service Medals to 30 recipients with a total of 660 years of service to the community.

I was pleased to represent the Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres and it was a privilege to present the medals to the thirty members of the RFS who were being honoured for their dedication and hard work.

Each and every member is worthy of our admiration and praise and I thank them all for your commitment and contribution. It is heartening to see this dedication when you think of the difficult job the members of the RFS often face.

The members being honoured today have together dedicated 660 years of service to the local community and these medals acknowledge their tireless devotion to protecting the Blue Mountains from fire and other emergencies. 

This region knows the threat bush fire poses and it is heartening to know that people such as those being honoured to today are ready and willing to protect the community.

I also spoke of Frank Vincent (pictured above) who received the Long Service Medal 4th Clasp for his 50 years of service. Frank joined the then Mt Victoria Bush Fire Brigade in February 1968 and through the years served as Brigade President and Vice President before joining the Jenolan Caves brigade in 1995. He was elected as Deputy Group Officer of the West Sector in 1988, a position he held until 1995 when he was elected Group Captain, a role which he still holds today

Frank has served his brigades, the district and the local area with distinction and honour during the past 50 years, earning the respect of his peers and the community and is a worthy recipient of the Long Service Medal 4th Clasp. 

 Thankfully, Frank is not alone in his loyalty and dedication to a wonderful organisation that is steeped in a proud history spanning more than 100 years in NSW.

I concluded by congratulating the volunteers for their years of service to their community as well as their hard work and dedication.

I want to make it clear that the rewarding - yet dirty, often physically exhausting and mentally challenging work that you do is appreciated. Your skills, dedication and loyalty are indeed to be admired.