National Medals Awarded To Heroes Of Black Saturday Fires

• 123 CFA members from the Alexandra Group of brigades recognised for extraordinary service during the 2009 Victorian bushfires
• Victorian Coalition Government committed to providing firefighters with the resources and support they need to do their job
• Coalition Government committed to protecting Victorians

National Emergency Medals have been presented to 123 CFA members from the Alexandra Group of brigades for their extraordinary service during the devastating 2009 bushfires.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response, Kim Wells, joined by Member for Seymour, Cindy McLeish, congratulated recipients on receiving the national honour for their service at a presentation tonight in Marysville.

“Members from the Alexandra Group of Brigades, which includes Acheron, Alexander Rural, Alexander Urban, Buxton, Eildon, Marysville, Taggerty, Tallarook, Thornton, Whanregarwen and Yarck, together with District 12 Personnel faced the very worst of the Black Saturday bushfires,” Mr Wells said.

“These medals are a tangible symbol of the Victorian community’s gratitude to CFA members.

Ms McLeish commended the recipients for their service, courage and bravery during a time of great destruction and loss.

“The actions of these deserving CFA members at a time when lives, communities, homes and livestock were under direct threat are a shining example of the commitment and dedication shown by our emergency services personnel every day,” Ms McLeish said.

“Five years may have passed since the fires on and around Black Saturday, but Australia has not forgotten the bravery of CFA members and the sacrifices made during the summer of 2008-09,” Mr Wells said.

The National Emergency Medal was established in 2011 to recognise sustained service to others during a declared nationally-significant emergency.

Ceremonies are being held across Victoria to present more than 4470 National Emergency Medals to CFA members who took part in the 2009 Victorian bushfires campaign.

Mr Wells said the Coalition Government had a strong commitment to providing firefighters with the resources and support they need to do their job.

“Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $1.84 billion. This financial year the CFA Budget is $446 million, which is an increase of $30 million on the previous financial year,” Mr Wells said.

“The Coalition Government has also invested more than $125 million since 2011 to fulfil its commitment to build 250 new or upgraded CFA stations in regional Victoria.

Mr Wells said the Coalition Government greatly valued the vital work performed by the CFA, one of the world’s largest volunteer organisations, with more than 55,000 operational and non-operational volunteers.

“The Coalition Government will continue to ensure our emergency services volunteers are equipped to respond safely and effectively to emergencies.

“Together, we are making communities safer, strengthening Victoria’s emergency services and fostering growth in regional Victoria.”

Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048
jessica.jackson@minstaff.vic.gov.au