Nine firefighters from Yass Fire Station 511 recently received the National Emergency Medal in recognition of their outstanding efforts and contributions during the 2019 and 2020 Black Summer Bushfires. The medal was presented by Tom Freedom, Zone Commander for Region South Two.

Yass Fire Station recipients are as follows: Captain Scott Lang, Deputy Captain Nicholas Whiting, firefighters Phillip Marshall, Benjamin Bowman, Christopher Inglis, Cameron Madden, Xain Pike, Noelle Harper, and Daniel O’Connor. 

Yass Station 511 Captain Scott Lang explained that this deployment saw firefighters working away from their families for periods, in dynamic and dangerous environments, during an unprecedented bushfire season.

National Emergency Medal

“Recognition is important because their work goes beyond that of the firefighter, it shows a commitment to the public which we’re paid to protect,” said Captain Lang.

“I’m proud to say that the things firefighters are most passionate about in their work is their dedication and service to the community,” he continued. 

During the bushfires, Yass firefighters were deployed to various locations around NSW, including the Snowy regions of Batlow and Thredbo, the South and North Coasts, as well as local activity. The work carried out was specific to which area firefighters attended but included property protection, protection of major assets such as the ski fields, and other miscellaneous responses that occurred because of the bushfire emergency. In response to the emergency, Yass Station 511 firefighters worked alongside the Rural Fire Service and other allied agencies.

The 2019 and 2020 Bushfires were declared a nationally-significant emergency for the purpose of the National Emergency Medal on the 2nd of December, 2020, per the National Emergency Medal (Bushfires 2019-20) Declaration of 2020. To receive the medal, recipients must have carried out service for or over five days, in the protection of lives and property or the service of interests that are not their own, in direct response to the emergency. This includes support that enabled or facilitated the emergency response. 

Yass Fire Station 511 is currently recruiting with three positions available. Captain Lang explained that many people assume the Yass station only offers either volunteer or full-time work. However, these positions are paid, on-call positions where firefighters receive a retainment for being on call and payment for all activities and incidents to which they respond. 

In their training, firefighters will learn skills such as basic life support above that of a first aid certificate and general land rescue skills. They will also receive qualifications such as a medium rigid truck license and chainsawing license. Captain Scott Lang asks those interested to call on 62261058.

Southerly Jones