Local heroes honoured

Eight Gisborne Fire Brigade volunteers who responded to catastrophic bushfires in NSW earlier this year will be formally acknowledged for their significant roles.
The premier of NSW is awarding Bushfire Emergency Citations and certificates to acknowledge the dedication, selfless actions and outstanding contribution of CFA volunteers across Victoria who assisted in the fire fight.
The 2019-2020 bushfires were the worst in the living memory of NSW. The catastrophic conditions impacted life, communities, property and the environment on an unprecedented scale.
Gisborne brigade members to receive the special acknowledgement are group officer Ian Hay, lieutenant Bevan Moody, Steve Bezzina, Tom Ruff, Geoff Phegan, Jordan Whitefield, Doug Peart and Dawn Whittall (critical incident peer support).
Each firefighter worked in various parts of the state undertaking a wide range of fire suppression and fire prevention activities.
GO Ian Hay was the first to be deployed in early November 2019 as a strike team leader, leading a convoy of five trucks, they engaged in aggressive asset protection and fire suppression around the Glen Innes area.
Tom Ruff and Geoff Phegan were tasked with back burning operations on the Carrai East complex fire just north of Kempsey.
They were assigned to the Cootamundra Rural Fire Service (NSW) truck and also assisted with asset protection in the area.
Lt Bevan Moody and Jordan Whitefield were deployed as NSW entered a State of Emergency, and were flown by the Royal Australian Air Force to the Richmond Air Base for five days.
They undertook aggressive back burning operations to save the town of St Albans and engaged in asset protection fire suppression around the Colo Heights area.
Doug Peart and Steve Bezzina conducted back burning operations around the Braidwood area over a period of three days.
Dawn Whittall, who is qualified in peer support, provided critical incident stress management to firefighters and members of impacted communities in various parts of NSW including Grafton and Port Macquarie.
Members are expected to receive the citation in November. The insignia of the citation is a rectangular silver framed navy-blue bar featuring a red stripe to signify the bushfire event, and the NSW State Flower (Waratah).

Lt Bevan Moody and Jordan Whitefield at Colo Heights Fire Station.
Tom Ruff and Geoff Phegan on the Carrai East complex fire.

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