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SES salutes special volunteers

SES Wagga Deputy Zone Commander Barry Griffiths and Jon Gregory.

A group of Tumut State Emergency Services volunteers were honoured with awards at a ceremony at Tumut River Brewing Co on Friday night.

Wagga Wagga Deputy Zone Commander Barry Griffiths made the trip to present the awards.

Former Deputy Region Controller Jon Gregory was presented with a NSW SES Commissioners Unit Citation for “professionalism show and management of IMT within Richmond Tweed Unit during the evening of 30 March 2017. This was a ‘1 in 1000 year’ event resulting in significant flooding in the Murwillumbah and Lismore areas and that sadly resulted in the loss of human life.

“Jon is a highly decorated, qualified and experienced SES operator who as many of you are aware was previously the Acting Region Controller and Deputy Controller of the former Murrumbidgee Unit,” Mr Griffiths said.

“Prior to joining the SES staff, he was Local Controller of the Tumut SES unit for 21 years. Jon has previously also been awarded an Emergency Services Medal, a Commissioners Certificate of Appreciation and a SES Director Generals Unit Citation, along with National and Long Service Medals and awards.”

National Medal awards were given to four Tumut volunteers – Wayne Ward, Leanne Gregory, John Curll and Justin Ward.

“The National Medal Clasp 2 represents Wayne’s 35 years of service in the Emergency Services, including NSW SES, Fire Rescue NSW and NSW RFS,” Mr Griffiths said.

“Wayne joined the NSW SES in January 1994 and is a qualified and experienced operator in storm and water operations, chainsaw operations, flood rescue and road crash rescue.

“Leanne is receiving the National Medal Clasp 1. Leanne joined the Tumut unit in April 1992 and has a long list of qualifications, experience and skills that she brings to work in Incident Management teams at both unit and regions level. Leanne was recently appointed the Tumut Unit Deputy Commander and has been administration officer from 1992 for the Tumut unit.

“John Curll is the Tumut unit’s iron man! John is an active member in the many roles of the NSW SES. He is a qualified operator in the following fields – storm and water, chainsaw, flood rescue, vertical rescue, alpine and road crash rescue. He is also one of the region’s most travelled volunteers, availing himself to out of area deployments both within our previous Muurumbidgee Region and other zones and regions across the state. John has previously been awarded a NSW SES State Medal for his involvement at the Hunter storm event of 2007, a Commissioner’s Certificate of Appreciation in 2011 and his SES Long Service Medal.

“Justin Ward joined the service in March 1996. In 2012 Justin took some time away from the unit before returning in 2013. He is qualified and experienced in chainsaw operations, road crash rescue and general rescue.”

Long Service medals were awarded to Jon Gregory (25 years), Leanne Gregory (25 years), Justin Ward (20 years), John Curll (15 years) and Barry Brunsdon (10 years).

“Barry is the current Unit Commander of the Tumut unit, and past Deputy Local Controller,” Mr Griffiths said.

“Like many of tonight’s recipients, Baz is a qualified operator in many response fields, including storm and water, chainsaw, flood rescue, vertical rescue, road crash rescue and incident management, and he was an inaugural member of the Tumut Alpine Rescue team.”

Five year long service certificates and pins were awarded to Steven Goode, Lee Halpin and Darren Ridley, and three people who were absent, Scott Crampton, Peter Thompson and David Hawthorn.

“Your community and the SES owes each and every one of you here tonight an enormous debt of gratitude for the contribution,” Mr Griffiths said.

“We must also acknowledge and thank your families, whose support has enabled you to be involved in this service to NSW and your local communities.