Parks and wildlife staff awarded National Emergency Medals for Black Summer efforts
Department for Environment and Water and Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board staff in the National Parks and Wildlife Service brigade have been recognised.
Members of the Riverland and Murraylands National Parks and Wildlife Service brigade have been recognised for their efforts during the 2019-20 Black Summer fires.
The Department for Environment and Water and Landscape SA staff received the National Emergency Medal recently.
The National Emergency Medal is awarded to people who have undertaken sustained or significant service during a nationally significant emergency in Australia.
Regional fire management officer Jared Pippos said the medals received by the 25 fire brigade members recognised their significant contribution during the national emergency.
“Although our state resources were completely stretched during this period, it was important that NPWS brigade staff were available to support the firefighting efforts and support our communities and (Country Fire Service) volunteers,” Mr Pippos said.
“There were many of our crew who were totally exhausted following their service in combating these large fires, and we commend each and everyone one of them.
“It is also worth acknowledging the friends, family and colleagues who supported the contribution.”
Throughout the fires, the staff worked as operational firefighters and members of incident management teams, and were deployed in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
The majority of staff were deployed to NSW and Kangaroo Island; the most significant fire they battled was the Coonalpyn fire, which burnt all of Carcuma Conservation Park.
As a result of the 2019-20 Black Summer fires 33 people died, of whom nine were firefighters.
More than 3000 houses were lost, 17 million hectares were burnt and an estimated one billion animals died nationally.
Thirty-four members of the CFS’ Swanport group who participated in Black Summer operations were awarded the National Service Medal in July, alongside members of the Ridley and Coorong groups.
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