In a moving ceremony at the Griffith Rural Fire Service (RFS) station on Thursday morning, three long-serving volunteers were recognised by Assistant Commissioner Steve Yorke and Superintendent for the MIA district Kevin Adams.
Husband and wife Bill and Wilma Cunningham were proud to be presented with their medals, and took the chance to share their valued memories of their time in the RFS.
“I’ve had some wonderful times in the RFS, and I was just disappointed I couldn’t continue any longer,” Bill said.
Wilma received a long service medal for 23 years of service, and recognised for her work in the communication services in the Aviation section.
“I’ve also had some wonderful times in the service, and some really exciting gigs. The camaraderie and friendship is really what it’s all about,” Wilma said.
“When I came to Griffith I thought I may be getting too old for it all, but I thought if I could have one more radio communication with a pilot in a situation it might be a memorial to a comrade I lost.”
After already receiving a plethora of medals for his service, 97-year-old Roy Stacy was awarded a certificate of appreciation to say thank you.
Roy was described as a local legend, he began his firefighting career in 1944 and is still currently a member and treasurer of the Kooba Brigade, and was still active on the front line three years ago before suffering from a heart-attack.
“I’ve just been really lucky to have had such good teams of good men, and I’m proud to have been able to teach the young ones,” Roy said.
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Assistant Commissioner Yorke said it was an honour to be in Griffith to recognise the three stalwart RFS members.
“It never ceases to amaze me ...Its just fantastic to have this level of depth and knowledge in the organisation – Roy, Bill and Wilma bring invaluable experience and history to the area,” he said.
Superintendent for the MIA Kevin Adams was “proud” to see Roy, Wilma and Bill commended for their service.
“It’s really great the Assistant Commissioner has come down and spent the week with us to see how we operate… we enjoy having him here and it’s great he is here so we can recognise the volunteers for all the work they do,” Mr Adams said.
As part of his visit, the Assistant Commissioner is also encouraging people to apply for three positions available at the Griffith Brigade.
For more information on the available positions, go to the I Work for NSW website with the job reference numbers 00005N2C and 00005MWQ, or click here.