MOUNT Helena Voluntary Bush Fire Brigade had many reasons to celebrate at a recent awards ceremony when 11 of their members received a National Medal.
The long-serving and dedicated firefighters achieved more than 290 years of service between them.
The National Medal recognises long service by members of government and voluntary organisations who risk their safety to protect the lives and property of others.
Dignitaries, colleagues, family and friends gathered at Eastern Hills Senior High School’s Lesser Hall to witness retired Shire of Mundaring chief executive Max Williams present the volunteers with their medals.
Mr Williams spoke of the significance of the National Medal, the most awarded civilian medal in Australia.
He also gave an account of the Shire of Mundaring’s voluntary bush fire brigades, with particular insight into the Mt Helena brigade’s contributions over the years.
Brigade colleagues introduced each medal recipient and shared stories of their service as bush firefighters.
Robin Gill, Mike Cuthbert and Allen Bothe received National Medals for more than 35 years of active bush firefighting service.
Paul Costall and Mike Alexander collected medals for more than 25 years of service.
Ron Collins, Norm Tap, Martin Longley, Lloyd Redstone, Andre Vander Heyden and Mick Fitzpatrick received National Medals for service exceeding 15 years.
Brigade Captain Cameron Greaves provided a stirring introduction for local stalwart Robin Gill, an active volunteer with the Mount Helena brigade since 1977.
To join a bushfire brigade, call the Shire of Mundaring on 9290 6666.