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Monday, 15 September 2003
Page: 19999

Mr BARTLETT (1:49 PM) —Over the last few weeks I have attended three medal presentation ceremonies for the Rural Fire Service—in Springwood, Blackheath and, yesterday, Windsor—with one to come in two weeks time at Faulconbridge. These presentations involve national medals for 15 years, with clasps for 25, 35 and 45 years of service, and long-service medals for 15, 25, 35 and 50 years of service. Between the recipients there were many hundreds of years service to our community. For each of those years there were often hundreds of hours of service in training and in response to emergencies, sometimes at great risk to their own lives.

These medal recipients are representative of the outstanding men and women of the fire brigades in the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury. The last two fire seasons have been horrific. Without the heroic efforts of these magnificent people the losses would have been far worse than they were. This year is not shaping up any better. In fact, during yesterday's presentation at Windsor members of the Ebenezer brigade were called out to attend a fire. Again our community will depend on the men and women of our local fire brigades. We thank them all for their outstanding work in the past and we wish them well for the coming season.