IAN Stewart from Tapitallee, who was at the centre of the recent bushfire emergency, has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal as part of the Australia Day Awards.
Mr Stewart is the Shoalhaven fire control officer.
He has served in the NSW Rural Fire Service for more than 35 years and said he continues to be inspired by the volunteers he works with.
During his career he worked in various roles and in a number of
district positions including Bega, Cooma Monaro, Eurobodalla, Tamworth, Great Lakes and currently Shoalhaven.
He has also worked as regional manager and regional learning and development officer and has acted as the manager of state operations during protracted fire operations.
Mr Stewart has participated in policy formulation at state level.
He is recognised for his incident management skills and has been appointed incident controller at major fires across the state.
He has strived to ensure all firefighting resources are the most up-to-date available.
“I was truly humbled to learn of this award because I’m a public servant and I do this for a job, it’s my career,” he said.
“It’s not about me; it is the volunteers and staff who deserve the accolade.
Mr Stewart said he appreciated that the RFS had given him opportunities that the average person didn’t get.
“The most important people in my job by far are the volunteers and the community. They are who I do this for,” he said.
“To see the passion and commitment and all the stuff the volunteers do,
it is amazing and it still inspires me.”
In 2008 he was awarded a commendation for excellence in emergency operations by the Fire Services Joint Standing Committee for demonstrating strong commitment to developing collaborative partnerships with emergency services.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the seven NSW RFS AFSM recipients had more than 200 years of service and experience between them.
“These long-serving members have dedicated much of their lives to
helping to protect the
“They have worked tirelessly to help to fight fires, prepare the community every bushfire season and ensure a new generation of volunteers were trained, mentored and encouraged.
“They represent the very best of the RFS and
I’m proud their service
has been formally recognised with this national
honour,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.