Tathra’s tireless firefighters awarded long service medals

Firefighter Carl Oakley, Senior Deputy Captain Jason Lewington (Bega Valley RFSA chairman), Firefighter Doc Wyatt, Firefighter Max Cook, Supt John Cullen (FSC Manager), Deputy Captain Lance Hartley, Anthony Taylor (Tathra Brigade President).

Firefighter Carl Oakley, Senior Deputy Captain Jason Lewington (Bega Valley RFSA chairman), Firefighter Doc Wyatt, Firefighter Max Cook, Supt John Cullen (FSC Manager), Deputy Captain Lance Hartley, Anthony Taylor (Tathra Brigade President).

Long service medals have been presented to four stalwarts of the Tathra Rural Fire Service brigade.

On Saturday, August 6, Far South Coast RFS manager Superintendent John Cullen presented medals for 10 years continual service to Deputy Captain Lance Hartley (12 years service), firefighter Carl Oakley (14 years), firefighter Max Cook (13 years) and firefighter John ‘Doc’ Wyatt (10 years).

Superintendent Cullen paid tribute to the loyalty and reliability all had shown, but also had praiseworthy comments to make about each of the volunteers.

Lance Hartley, he said, was a solid brigade member who always ensured that the brigade communicated well with Fire Control.

Max Cook, he said was instrumental in the 2011 new station project and has always been on hand for any task. 

Carl Oakley, as equipment officer, and a man “who loves the game”, was a very important member of the team.

“He’s the kind of member you need in the brigade,” Supt Cullen said.

Doc Wyatt, he said, was invariably the first officer to respond when there was a fire call.

“It’s not about the numbers in the brigade but who makes themselves available when there is a call-out,” Supt Cullen said.

“Ten years plus in any organisation is a big effort and my congratulations are extended to you all.”

Bega Valley RFSA branch chairman Jason Lewington echoed Supt Cullen’s words and added that the long service medals are not just paying tribute to the individual, but also their families who support them and accept the sacrifices to family time that comes with volunteering for the community. 

Brigade Captain Adam Wiggins said these members contributed countless hours over their years in the brigade and have selflessly represented the Tathra brigade not only locally but also on several out of area and even inter-state taskforces to some of the country's most challenging bush fires as well as floods and storms.

The Tathra fire brigade is always looking for new volunteers and encourages anyone aged 16 to retirees who may be interested in giving back to the community as well as learning new skills to contact them about joining. Details can be found on the brigade’s website www.tathrafirebrigade.org.au.

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