A DRIVING force of the Mandogalup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade was recognised for his 46 years’ service in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Wandi resident Stephen Treeby was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal for serving his community, and leading, coaching and mentoring his firefighters with distinction throughout his long career.
He has been involved with the brigade since he started as a keen 15-year-old in 1971 and has seen the area change dramatically from being mainly rural and bush, to semi-urban today.
“When I started we had one fire unit on a trailer so it’s come a long way in that time,” he said.
“But when I first started we didn’t have the fires that we have now and we used to just work in our own area.”
Mr Treeby said he was surprised to receive the award, but it was nice to be recognised.
It was also recognition for the work all the volunteers at the station did and for his family for their support over many years.
One of the most rewarding aspects of his time with the brigade has been training and mentoring new members.
He has been instrumental in recruiting, developing and implementing gender equality and has significantly increased female fire fighter participation within the brigade.
“I enjoy the camaraderie and meeting a lot of people over the years and teaching a lot of the newer firefighters,” he said.
“Everybody comes here for a common cause from all walks of life and it’s good to see them work together.
“There are a lot of good people throughout the state who are trying to do their best for the community.”
Mr Treeby has served as an active firefighter, officer, 22 years as captain, fire control officer and deputy chief fire control officer.
Kwinana has been impacted by a number of large, multi-agency, protracted bushfire incidents over the years.
His many years of experience with bush fires and resource management has allowed him to take on the roles of incident controller, operations officer or task force commander at many of these large incidents.
His focus on fire ground safety has gained the brigade an enviable record, winning numerous awards in regional bushfire games.
Mr Treeby was also a driving force for the construction of a replacement fire station and he lobbied intensively to achieve the current Mandogalup Fire Station and Incident Control Centre, which opened in 1998.