Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Australia Day Achievement Award winners.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Australia Day Achievement Award winners.

Awards for flood heroes

TWO Gympie firefighters who protected their community during the 2013 floods were honoured at an Australia Day Achievement Awards ceremony in Gympie yesterday.

Imbil auxiliary captain Iain Blain and Brooloo Mary River rural firefighter Kevin Holzapfel joined 14 other firefighters at the awards ceremony in the Gympie Civic Centre.

North Coast Region Acting Assistant Commissioner John Bolger said the awards acknowledged the bravery of the firefighters who had risked their own lives during the floods to serve others.

CONGRATULATIONS: Mark Roach (right) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Australia Day Achievement Award winner Kevin Holzapfel from Gympie.
CONGRATULATIONS: Mark Roach (right) and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Australia Day Achievement Award winner Kevin Holzapfel from Gympie.

 

"In January 2013, much of our region suffered from widespread flooding, with many residents losing homes and emergency services staff working around the clock to minimise damage," Mr Bolger said.

"Many firefighters and SES volunteers had their own homes affected, but still kept working to help others.

"Emergency workers from areas that weren't affected volunteered for deployment and made a great difference to our recovery efforts."

Mr Bolger said the awards recognised staff and volunteers who had demonstrated outstanding dedication to the emergency services.

"Your efforts do not go unnoticed and are of a huge benefit to the community," Mr Bolger said.

"Your hard work means that when disaster hits, the region is prepared and able to recover faster."

Other Australia Day Achievement Award winners from the North Coast Region included Cooran auxiliary fire fighter Brenda Lewis and Gayndah area commander Adam Gwin.

QSuper was again the major sponsor of the awards and CEO Rosemary Vilgan congratulated the nominees and award winners.

"It is an honour for QSuper to be involved once again with these awards, which recognise some of Queensland's best front-line workers and the tireless efforts they put in day-in and day-out," Ms Vilgan said.

"From everyone at QSuper, I congratulate the nominees and winners on being leaders in their field and in their communities and thank them for their hard work and sacrifice."

HONOUR: QSuper David Bowen (left) with Imbil auxiliary captain Iain Blain and Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche.
HONOUR: QSuper David Bowen (left) with Imbil auxiliary captain Iain Blain and Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche. David Crossley

 

RECOGNISED

Other firefighters recognised for their efforts during the floods were:

Gayndah captain Ron Mitchell

Bundaberg firefighters Andrew Smith, Trevor Farraway, Trevor Duncan and Curtis Yates

Bargara auxiliary captain Cain Josefski

Bargara firefighters John Stratton and Scott Hunter

Elliot Heads firefighter Jas Gregory

Bryanyan rural firefighter Carl Dernehl

Gundiah rural firefighter Jennifer Pepper

Aldershot rural firefighter Norman Rymer