South West Slopes RFS receives commendation for bravery and service

Group Captain Phillip Baer, APM, AFSM, Superintendent Andrew Dillon, Group Captain Peter Holding, AFSM and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke in Harden on Wednesday.
Group Captain Phillip Baer, APM, AFSM, Superintendent Andrew Dillon, Group Captain Peter Holding, AFSM and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke in Harden on Wednesday.

The Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has congratulated the South West Slopes Zone Senior Management Team in Harden on Wednesday on receiving a NSW RFS Internal Bravery and Service Award.

The unit were recognised with a Commissioner's Certificate of Commendation for the work of the Senior Management Team over many years.

Ms Cooke said the award was well-deserved by the unit. "For many years the South West Slopes Zone Senior Management has undertaken the work of the RFS with incredible bravery and professionalism," Ms Cooke said.

"Their skill and selflessness deserves to be celebrated and recognised. Congratulations on this well-earned accolade."

Their skill and selflessness deserves to be celebrated and recognised.

Steph Cooke MP

Superintendent Andrew Dillon, District Manager of the RFS South West Slopes Zone said he was very pleased with the award.

"It's fantastic to see our 16 Group Officers recognised for their work over many years, not only in firefighting but in planning, decision making, risk management and consultation to ensure our volunteer firefighters are well resourced and well prepared to protect the community."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted our ability to get together and celebrate this acknowledgement, but when restrictions ease we will be getting together to celebrate this achievement, and we hope there will be a more formal presentation in Sydney."

The South West Slopes Zone deployed 51 brigades from across the zone to assist the Dunns Road fire, which burned through more than 330,000 hectares after starting near Tarcutta late last year.

The crews were tasked to the northern edge of the bushfire at Ellerslie Nature Reserve near Mount Adrah, as it bared down on Tumblong and put Gundagai on alert for ember attacks.

In its almost two months of active alert, the fire destroyed more than 100 homes and public buildings, threatening towns and claiming the life of Goulburn man David Harrison, who was helping a friend defend a property.

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