Twelve CFA members from District 11 Brigade in the South East Region have been awarded National Emergency Medals for their service during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing MP, joined CFA and community representatives at a ceremony in Bairnsdale to present the medals on behalf of the Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett.

In awarding the medals, Ms Shing paid tribute to the extraordinary service, courage and resilience shown by recipients during one of the worst bushfires in Victoria’s history.

The National Emergency Medal recognises service to others during nationally significant emergencies.

The medal presented to CFA members carries a clasp engraved with ‘Vic Fires 09’.

Across Victoria, the Black Saturday fires took 173 lives, destroyed thousands of homes, farm buildings and fences.

Quotes attributable to Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria

“Our CFA members are enormously deserving of our deepest respect, thanks and recognition. Their actions during the 2009 campaign are a shining example of the commitment and dedication shown by our emergency services personnel every day.

“With more than 55,000 operational and non-operational volunteers, CFA members work around the clock to protect 3.3 million Victorians and more than one million homes and properties.”

“The Victorian Government is committed to recognising and supporting the people who protect us. Our firefighting volunteers are a vital part of our regional communities. The National Emergency Medal is formal public recognition of the effort made by CFA members during an exceptionally difficult period”

“In this year’s State Budget, the Andrews Government announced a range of packages to support CFA, including $11 million to build and upgrade CFA stations and amenities, to help units grow and give firefighters a safe, modern and comfortable place to meet and train.