May 10 - 16, 2015: Issue 213

  Ingleside Fire Brigade Awarded Commissioners Commendations - NSW RFS 16th Annual Awards Ceremony

Ingleside award recipients for the efforts of our volunteers at the Tanker Fire; including 2 Bravery Medals, 1 Service Medal, 4 Unit Citations, 2 Certificate of Commendations. 

 Ingleside Fire Brigade Awarded Commissioners Commendations - NSW RFS 16th Annual Awards Ceremony

May 4th, 2015

May 4th  is St Florian's Day or International Firefighters' Day. St Florian was the Patron Saint of Firefighters. On St Florian's Day, we give thanks for the selfless dedication and bravery our firefighters show every day, upholding the same commitment to protecting lives and property that St Florian and his first firefighters did in Ancient Roman times.

On Monday two firefighters who braved dangerous conditions in a fuel tanker accident at Mona Vale were among 21 NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) members and 17 units presented awards by Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott MP as part of St Florian's Day 2015 Awards.

In total nine ‎Ingleside‬ volunteers were awarded ‪NSW RFS‬ ‎Commissioners ‬Commendations for ‪Bravery‬, ‎Service‬, Unit Citation and Certificates.

On 1st October 2013, our volunteers responded to a report of a 'bushfire' towards the Mona Vale area. With a number of RFS tankers responding, it was soon found to be the tragic Fuel Tanker Fire and accident in Mona Vale. The Ingleside Crew were the first fire truck on scene. Faced with a number of different incidents in such an intense environment, our volunteers operated within a volatile scene and at the highest level. The Ingleside Crew, using our foam hoseline and branch, operating in breathing apparatus and some without, and from below the overturned tanker, managed to bring the running fuel fire under control and within an hour, extinguishing the fuel tanker fire itself using the Ingleside hoseline and foam.

On Monday May 4th the RFS Commissioner recognised the following volunteers from Ingleside Brigade with Commendations:

For Service - RFS Commander: Deputy Group Captain & Ingleside Brigade Captain Sean McLoughlin

For Bravery - 1st Tanker:

Deputy Captain Gary Sambridge, Crew Leader Joshua Denney

Unit Citation for Service - 1st Tanker:

Deputy Captain Scott Molenaar

Deputy Captain Joshua Alexander

FF Andrew Johnston

FF Gordon Smith

Certificate of Commendation - 2nd Tanker:

Senior Deputy Captain Brad Kelly

Crew Leader Ross Goodman

In addition to our volunteers, RFS members from Warringah / Pittwater Headquarters Rural Fire Brigade, Belrose Rural Fire Brigade, Tumbledown Dick Rural Fire Brigade were awarded with unit Citations and a number of other brigades with certificates of commendation for their high level of operational support and some life saving first aid. Whilst the incident was tragic on many levels, our volunteers showed extreme bravery, service and courage that day to protect the community and bystanders and to be recognised officially as volunteers for doing our job is appreciated.

Fittingly the awards for Warringah/Pittwater centered on specific actions in support of the local community. Identified for Bravery, Commendation and Service the combined response of the Warringah/Pittwater RFS on the day of the Mona Vale Tanker Rollover was awarded recognition.

Twenty five members who made up the first on scene Tankers (a strike team that had been placed in standby for out of area deployment, but who instead were responded to this incident) received Commendation for Service as a unit. Four of these members are from te Tumbledown Dick RFS. Additionally two members from the Ingleside Tanker received individual awards of bravery and the group officer of the strike team who was RFS Incident Controller received an individual Commendation for Service. 8 additional Warringah/Pittwater units also received the Commissioners Certificate of Service for their roll in supporting the first arriving Tankers including two members of Tumble.

The Unit Citation reads:

On 1 October 2013 the crews of Warringah Pittwater Headquarters 1, Belrose 1A, Belrose 1B, Ingleside 1A, and Tumbledown Dick 1 responded to a fuel tanker crash and resulting fire on Mona Vale Road, Warriewood.

The crews immediately got to work, facing many significant risks including downed powerlines, vehicles on fire, bush alight and a flowing fuel fire. They supported Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) operations and provided an ongoing supply of water and foam.

The units were deployed to various tasks including evacuating and protecting properties adjacent to the fire, providing critical first aid, supplying water, foam and breathing apparatus operators to the firefighting operation.

The noted crews performed meritoriously, working in difficult circumstances to defend life and property and to extinguish multiple fires as a result of the incident.

Belrose 1A, Belrose 1B, Ingleside 1A, Tumbledown Dick 1 and Warringah Pittwater Headquarters 1 are worthy recipients of the Commissioner's Commendation for Service (Unit).

Whilst this page is focused on the RFS volunteers, there were a number of other emergency services there that day that contributed to the overall control of the incident these included:

Fire & Rescue NSW (in particular paid Fire Fighters from Mona Vale, Narrabeen Fire Station, and Mosman fire stations), the NSW Police Force, and the Ambulance Service NSW.

The photos are of our volunteers awarded today by the RFS Commissioner, with some photos of what our volunteers faced that day including, Gary Sambridge, Joshua Denney and Joshua Alexander in Breathing Apparatus up close to the tanker in the final part of the fire-fighting operations.

Our thoughts remain with those who lost their life in this incident, those injured, their family and friends as well as those impacted by this incident.

Our fire-fighters on the front line at the tanker fire. Commendation for Bravery: Ingleside's Deputy Captain Gary Sambridge and Crew Leader Joshua Denney. Also in the picture is Joshua Alexander who was awarded a Unit Citation for Service.

Full Citations of Commendations below (retrieved from New South Wales Rural Fire Service Website):

Commissioner's Commendation for Bravery

Awarded to recognise an act of courage under hazardous circumstances where the risk to life has not been as significant as to warrant the Commissioner's Award for Valour but is worthy of recognition.

Firefighter Joshua Denney

Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade, Warringah Pittwater, Region East

On 1 October 2013 Firefighter Joshua Denney was a crew member on Ingleside 1A, which responded and arrived first on scene to a fuel tanker crash and resulting fire on Mona Vale Road, Warriewood.

Upon arrival, Firefighter Denney was faced with many significant risks including downed powerlines, several vehicles on fire, bush alight as well as a f lowing fuel fire coming from the overturned fuel tanker.

The flowing fuel fire had already resulted in the death of one person, severely burned a second person, burned a number of other casualties and posed a clear, direct and imminent threat to more than 100 members of the public downhill.

Working directly with Firefighter Gary Sambridge, Firefighter Denney commenced Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) operations and worked from below the tanker, directly attacking the fire with foam to protect the injured, the members of public and other emergency service personnel who were under direct threat from the f lowing fuel fire.

To undertake this critical task, Firefighter Denney had to position himself downhill of the burning fuel tanker, directly between the overturned tanker and the people the CABA team was trying to protect. Firefighter Denney undertook this tasking at great personal risk.

Firefighter Denney remained in this position of direct and significant danger for more than 30 minutes while the fire was being contained and was eventually extinguished.

Firefighter Denney worked bravely to minimise the loss of life of members of the public as well as that of fellow emergency service personnel.

Firefighter Joshua Denney is a worthy recipient of the Commissioner's Commendation for Bravery.

Firefighter Gary Sambridge

Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade, Warringah Pittwater, Region East

On 1 October 2013 Firefighter Gary Sambridge was a crew member on Ingleside 1A, which responded, and arrived first on scene to a fuel tanker crash and resulting fire on Mona Vale Road, Warriewood.

Upon arrival, Firefighter Sambridge was faced with many significant risks including downed powerlines, several vehicles on fire, bush alight as well as a f lowing fuel fire coming from the overturned fuel tanker.

The f lowing fuel fire had already resulted in the death of one person, severely burned a second person, burned a number of other casualties and posed a clear, direct and imminent threat to more than 100 members of the public located downhill.

Working directly with Firefighter Joshua Denney, Firefighter Sambridge commenced Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) operations and worked from below the tanker, directly attacking the fire with foam to protect the injured, the members of the public and other emergency service personnel who were under direct threat from the f lowing fuel fire.

To undertake this critical task, Firefighter Sambridge had to position himself downhill of the burning fuel tanker, directly between the overturned tanker and the people the CABA team was trying to protect. Firefighter Sambridge undertook this tasking at great personal risk.

Firefighter Sambridge remained in this position of direct and significant danger for over 30 minutes while the fire was being contained and eventually was extinguished.

Firefighter Sambridge worked bravely to minimise the loss of life of members of the public as well as that of fellow emergency service personnel.

Firefighter Gary Sambridge is a worthy recipient of the Commissioner's Commendation for Bravery.

Commendation for Bravery: Inglesides, Deputy Captain Gary Sambridge and Crew Leader Joshua Denney with RFS Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons

Commissioner's Commendation for Service (Individual)

Awarded for service of a meritorious nature, or for outstanding actions in relation to fire service duties, administrative leadership, or for exemplary performance of a specific difficult project or task, not involving bravery.

Deputy Group Captain Sean McLoughlin

Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade, Warringah Pittwater, Region East

On 1 October 2013 Deputy Group Captain Sean McLoughlin responded to a fuel tanker crash and resulting fire on Mona Vale Road, Warriewood.

Upon arrival, Deputy Group Captain McLoughlin was faced with a f lowing fuel fire that had resulted in the death of one person, severely burned a second person, caused various burns to a number of other casualties and posed a clear threat to more than 100 members of the public who had gathered downhill, below the immediate incident site.

Deputy Group Captain McLoughlin undertook the NSW Rural Fire Service Commander role and worked to establish and implement command and control within the immediate danger area.

Throughout the initial stages of the incident, Deputy Group Captain McLoughlin was placed in a position of clear and imminent danger, at great personal risk to undertake reconnaissance, support the operations of firefighters and ensure a coordinated and appropriate response.

Deputy Group Captain McLoughlin worked diligently to reduce the risk of further injury or loss of life to those involved in the crash, members of the public and fellow emergency services personnel who were operating downhill from the fire.

Deputy Group Captain Sean McLoughlin is a worthy recipient of the Commissioner's Commendation for Service.

Commissioner's Commendation for Service (Unit)

Awarded for service of a meritorious nature, or for outstanding actions in relation to fire service duties, administrative leadership, or for exemplary performance of a specific difficult project or task, not involving bravery.

Peter Devaney, Thomas Gates, Michael Hrnjak, Matthew Lancaster, Joshua Sheedy, Douglas Simpson, Joshua Beran, Georgia Christensen, Fadl (Fred) Hijazi, Christopher Hurley, Brendan Kusmenko, David Vane, Joshua Alexander, Andrew Johnston, Scott Molenaar, Gordon Smith, Matthew Kerrigan, Andrew Miller, Lars Steele-Mills, John Watson, Terry Brett, David Golack, Jessica Phillips, Luke Robinson and Kevin Shadforth

Belrose 1A, Belrose 1B, Ingleside 1A, Tumbledown Dick 1 and Warringah Pittwater Headquarters 1, Warringah Pittwater, Region East

On 1 October 2013 the crews of Warringah Pittwater Headquarters 1, Belrose 1A, Belrose 1B, Ingleside 1A, and Tumbledown Dick 1 responded to a fuel tanker crash and resulting fire on Mona Vale Road, Warriewood.

The crews immediately got to work, facing many significant risks including downed powerlines, vehicles on fire, bush alight and a flowing fuel fire. They supported Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) operations and provided an ongoing supply of water and foam.

The units were deployed to various tasks including evacuating and protecting properties adjacent to the fire, providing critical first aid, supplying water, foam and breathing apparatus operators to the firefighting operation.

The noted crews performed meritoriously, working in difficult circumstances to defend life and property and to extinguish multiple fires as a result of the incident.

Belrose 1A, Belrose 1B, Ingleside 1A, Tumbledown Dick 1 and Warringah Pittwater Headquarters 1 are worthy recipients of the Commissioner's Commendation for Service (Unit).

Headquarters crew, provided life saving first aid to one of the injured persons. They were awarded a Unit Citation for Service.

Commissioner's Certificate of Commendation (Unit)

Awarded to recognise service or outstanding actions in relation to fire service duties, administrative leadership, or exemplary performance of a specific project or task. The Certificate of Commendation may be awarded to an individual or unit for service beyond the scope of responsibility normally expected of that person or unit in their assigned duties and is therefore worthy of acknowledgement and commendation.

Mona Vale Tanker Rollover Incident – Warringah Pittwater Supporting Units

Beacon Hill 1, Davidson 1, Duffys Forest 1, Ingleside 1B, Terrey Hills Pumper, Warringah Pittwater Communications Unit, Warringah Pittwater Group 5 and Warringah Pittwater Staff, Region East

On 1 October 2013 the following crews responded to a fuel tanker crash and resulting fire on Mona Vale Road: Beacon Hill 1, Davidson 1, Duffys Forest 1, Terrey Hills Pumper, Ingleside 1B, Warringah Pittwater Group 5, Warringah Pittwater Communications Unit and Warringah Pittwater staff.

The units were deployed to various tasks including evacuating and protecting properties adjacent to the fire, providing critical first aid, supplying water, foam and breathing apparatus operators to the firefighting operation, and assisting the first-in NSW Rural Fire Service crews. They also established liaison links to ensure a coordinated effort.

The noted crews performed meritoriously under challenging circumstances.

Mona Vale Tanker Rollover Incident – Warringah Pittwater Supporting Units are worthy recipients of the Commissioner's Certificate of Commendation (Unit).

 Inglesides first tanker on scene, photo minutes after arrival.

 Tumbledown Dick Brigade who were instrumental in the suppression of the fuel tanker fire assisting the Ingleside Crew and were on scene mins after Ingleside. The Deputy Captain John Watson was instrumental in assisting with the command and control of the incident. They were awarded a Unit Citation for Service.

Copyright Ingleside RFS, 2015.