Scotland Island RFB Members Awarded Long Service Medals: 180 Years of Doing
Praise for Scotland Island’s long-standing volunteer firefighters
Last Saturday, October 8th, nine Volunteers of the Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade were honored by the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) for their ongoing commitment to the local community.
The members of the squad were presented with Long Service Medals for 10 years, 20 years and 50 years service by Deputy Commissioner Steve York.
Deputy Commissioner York recognised that in total, these medal recipients have accumulated an impressive 180 years of service between them.
“This is testament to the ongoing commitment shown by the Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade volunteers to both the NSW RFS and the local community,” Deputy Commissioner York said.
John Christie (absent)
Bob Blackwood has been a member of SIRFB for 55 years. He was president of the brigade for 25 consecutive years. He was responsible for much of the fit out much of the current fire shed.
Bob Blackwood with Deputy Commissioner York
The presentations took part during a Fire Shed Community Dinner, a regular function held monthly during cooler seasons at this hub of the green island at the southern end of the Pittwater Estuary.
Last year the Brigade celebrated its 60th year.
Since its inception in 1955, the Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade has been the proud provider of fire fighting capability on Scotland Island and beyond.
In 2011 the SIRFB also added a Community First Responders team (CFR) for medical emergencies to its portfolio of services. Since the Brigade started its Community First Responders (CFR) program the team has responded to over 50 calls, attending to medical emergencies and in some cases evacuations off the island.
Scotland Island Fire Fighters participate in fire fighting operations on the Island but also off-Island. The brigade is one of a small number of NSW RFS brigades with a boat, allowing for fire fighting on or from the water, and take part in regular training exercises in conjunction with Elvina Bay, Ingleside, Mackerel Beach and other associated onshore and offshore Rural Fire Brigades.
The latest addition to the Brigade is the Community Fire Unit (CFU), commenced in 2013, which consists of members in the community who are trained in fire safety and support the brigade when needed.
The CFU is (wo)manned by over 30 Scotland Island men and women, who have received fire awareness and basic fire fighting training.
They are available to help with property protection or to help with patrolling and extinguishing spot fires during a major emergency such as a fire in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
The Long Service Awards recipients, as do all NSW RFS volunteers, dedicate themselves to providing a vital service to the community and these medals are an acknowledgement of their efforts.
The presentation of these awards allows all of us to take a moment to reflect upon the outstanding achievements of these members and the gratitude the broader community would wish to extend to them.
All photos by Julian Muir