Blue Haven firefighter in line for state honour

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliot, will announce the winners of the Rotary Districts of NSW Emergency Services Community Awards (RESPCA) at a ceremony at Parliament House on August 14.

The community nominated RESCA are the only time all Emergency Services personnel, both paid and volunteer, are recognised in a combined awards program.

Finalists are drawn from the NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW State Emergency Services, Marine Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Ambulance, and the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association.

One of the four finalists is Richard Wilson, a leading firefighter, Natural Disaster and Humanitarian Team Member and Fire and Rescue member in Blue Haven.

Wilson said that the nomination was very exciting and very humbling.

“It’s been really exciting and humbling to be recognised for our work in the community,” Wilson said.

“There are so many other people doing great things in the community and it’s really nice to have a ceremony that celebrates that hard work,” he said.

“I’ve been with Fire and Rescue and the Natural Disaster and Humanitarian Team for eight years.

“We’ve been to Christchurch after the earthquake, and Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam, it’s a very interesting job.

“The thing I love most is being able to go and help people and provide to people and help them get back on their feet.

“It’s very rewarding,” Wilson said.

Elliot said the awards are a fantastic opportunity to shine a light upon the enormous contribution of emergency service workers and volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the community.

“This is an appropriate time to pause, reflect and congratulate our emergency services workers and volunteers for their incredible contributions to our state.

“Whether it be disaster, fire or accident, our community owes them a great deal of gratitude.

“This year, we received a record number of nominations.

“The finalists have more than 600 years of combined service and I thank them all for their exemplary community service,” Elliot said.

The RESCA awards also supports and funds two important Rotary initiatives.

These initiatives are Australian Rotary Health, a PhD Research Scholarship investigating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Emergency Services Personnel and Emergency and Disaster Preparedness training by a competitively selected Vocational Training Team connected with a developing country in the Asia/Pacific Region.

Winners for each service, plus two special overall winners, and the young volunteer will be announced on August 14.

The overall winners for NSW will then represent the state at the National Awards to be held later this year.

Harry Mulholland