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National Medal Presentations
Submitted On Saturday, October 16, 2004
Submitted By Pip McGowan

71 SA Country Fire Service volunteer firefighters from across the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island, including two who have dedicated more than half a century to volunteer firefighting in South Australia, have been recognised for their service to the SA Country Fire Service, in an awards ceremony, held on October 15th, at Meadows.

Volunteers from Brigades throughout Region One - the Mount Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo Island - were recognised for their dedicated service to the CFS ranging from 15 to 45 years- with a combined total of 1465 years of service to the CFS.

Murray Willsmore of Waitpinga Brigade and Russell Grear of the Eden Hills Brigade were awarded their Third Clasp to their National Medal for more than 45 years service.

The annual award presentation sees CFS volunteers given their National Medals for providing 15 or more years dedicated service to the Nation of Australia. A Clasp (an award that is added to the medal) is awarded for every ten years there after.

Apart from Murray and Russell receiving their Third Clasp for 45 years of service, 42 CFS volunteers will receive their National Medal for 15 years service, 20 volunteers will receive their First Clasp for 25 years service, and seven volunteers will receive their Second Clasp for 35 years service.

Region One Regional Commander Mark Thomason said the event is a great opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution that CFS volunteers make to the community.

“Volunteering is very much a part of the Australian culture, putting a bit back in rather than just taking from it.

“However, it’s difficult to place worth on a medal when each of these volunteers spend their lives saving people and assets from fires and other emergencies. They themselves are the assets. No medal could do justice to what these recipients have done and continue to do in providing protection for the community,” Mark said.

Thirteen CFS Brigades, including Norton Summit/Ashton, Basket Range, Echunga, Nairne, Kangarilla, Morphett Vale, Bridgewater, Burnside, Currency Creek, Woodside, Inman Valley, Langhorne Creek and Belair, will receive the Chief Officers Award for Training, which recognises the Brigades ability to meet training requirements within the Standards of Fire and Emergency Cover.

The awards were presented by Andrew Lawson, Assistant Chief Officer, Manager of Strategic Services and a recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) and the National Medal (First Clasp.

Picture - Murray Willsmore, Waitpinga CFS - 45 years service

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