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Firefighters dedication recognised

TWO local firefighters have been recognised in the 2016 Firefighter Awards this month.

Stuart Parks from the Midland Career Fire and Rescue Service won the WA Career Fire and Rescue Service Award.

Following the suicide of a close firefighting colleague, Stuart completed a gruelling seven week, 1000km trek along the Bibbulmun Track to increase awareness of mental health in emergency services and to raise money for Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute.

Stuart also dedicates a large amount of his time to training his dog, Ivy with the aim for her to become part of the Urban Search and Rescue unit.

Meanwhile Sawyers Valley 1st Lieutenant Angus Hay was shortlisted as a finalist in the Murray Lang Bushfire Service Award for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Sawyers Valley Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade officer Tina Merrybard nominated Mr Hay for his quiet dedication to the brigade.

“Angus goes to almost every local fire and this year has been to Esperance and Waroona fires to help as well,” she said.

“He nurtures every newbie with great patience and for this reason alone, if for no other, is a very valuable member of our brigade.

“Not only that, no matter what Sawyers Brigade is doing, whether it is turning out to a fire, doing PR, organising training, recruiting, or being there for new office holders, Angus shows up and gives it his very best every single time.

“He goes well above and beyond what is expected of a volunteer and he does this consistently and always with the same good spirit.”

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson presented the awards on September 11 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

He commended the recipients’ dedication to serving and protecting their communities.

“The emergency services were placed under immense pressure last bushfire season, responding to a number of large-scale and complex fires under challenging conditions,” he said.

“The recipients acknowledged at the awards ceremony have gone above and beyond their call of duty and are exemplary role models for their fellow brigade members and the wider community.”

BY SARAH BROOKES

About Sarah Brookes

Sarah is an award-winning journalist (2016 WA Media Awards - Best Three Suburban Newspaper Stories) who has covered our Mundaring and Kalamunda editions since 2011. She went to Eastern Hills Senior High School before studying chemistry and biology at university. Staring down a microscope two years into her degree she realised a future in science wasn’t for her – journalism was. Sarah lived in Europe before re-settling in Darlington, where her family has lived for three generations, with her two children. She has worked for various government agencies and Media Monitors. Sarah is a media junkie who loves talkback radio and devours the weekend papers.

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