Northland firefighters awarded prestigious medal

Friday 20 Jan 2023

In New Zealand, Northland firefighters from Forest Protection Services have been awarded the Australian National Emergency Medal for their efforts fighting the devastating NSW bushfires of 2019 and 2020

Employees of Whangārei-based Forest Protection Services have been recognised for their efforts fighting the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020 in New South Wales, Australia. On Saturday, 12 Northland-based firefighters each received an Australian National Emergency Medal for their dedicated work, with deployments up to three weeks long.

In addition, 15 firefighters received the Forest and Rural Fire Association New Zealand Medal. Some firefighters participated in multiple deployments, with the last crew home on March 3, 2020. While some of the work was done in conjunction with Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), a majority of the response was at the direct request of Forestry Corporation NSW, who contacted Forest Protection Services requesting aid.

The crew were extremely experienced, and according to Kevin Ihaka, managing director of Forest Protection Services, “had no problem integrating with local forestry crews in Australia, as most have had experience in Australia, Canada and the USA from previous deployments and are familiar with the systems and practices in Australia”.

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Source: NZ Herald

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