AFSM: Kay Gibson, from the Veteran rural fire bridgade, at home yesterday.
AFSM: Kay Gibson, from the Veteran rural fire bridgade, at home yesterday.

Rural firies given royal nod in Queen's 2015 Honours list

TWO Gympie region rural fire fighters were recognised in the Queen's Birthday 2015 Honours List yesterday.

Veteran's Kay Gibson and Pomona's Ian Pike both received the Australia Fire Service Medal.

 

The honours list goes back to 1975 and recognises a diverse range of contributions and service across all fields, including professional, community service, defence, emergency services and acts of bravery.

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove said in a statement Mrs Gibson and Mr Pike had joined more than "40,000 women and men whose actions have enriched our community and whose values we hold dear - professionalism, compassion, dedication, generosity, tolerance, and energetic ambition".

"To all recipients, I offer my warmest congratulations and express my sincere gratitude for your contribution to our nation," he said.

"We are fortunate as a community to have so many outstanding people willing to dedicate themselves to the betterment our nation and it is only fitting that they have today been recognised through the Australian Honours system."

AFSM: Pomona volunteer Ian Pike, from Noosa rural fire brigade, at Kybong yesterday.
AFSM: Pomona volunteer Ian Pike, from Noosa rural fire brigade, at Kybong yesterday. Patrick Woods

Mrs Gibson award stated she was "an active and highly valued member of the Rural Fire Service Queensland who has provided outstanding dedication to the local community of Gympie".

"She is known for her methodical thinking and foresight in establishing and supporting operational crews at major incidents, and she has achieved significant success over a prolonged period in assembling strike teams, as well as the organisation of replacement crews, needed when dealing with operational responses.

"Additionally, Mrs Gibson has served in several incident control centres during emergencies.

"She has devoted her time and energy to support and mentor other volunteer members during RFSQ training programs, including crew leader courses.

"She organises and manages a simulated fire communications centre during these courses and provides important feedback to participants during debriefings.

"She selflessly undertakes additional duties and acts as the first point of contact for area and fire communications centre staff when activating brigade and other emergency resources in her community."

Mr Pike has been a volunteer rural firie with the Noosa Group for 30 years, joining up so that farmers would not have to battle blazes on their own.

He owned and ran a dairy farm with Mary River frontage for about 35 years from 1977, breeding and showing illawarra cattle at the Gympie Show for more than 20 years.

These days Mr Pike, 69, is retired near Pomona.

His award notification stated:

"Mr Pike has demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteering and to the Rural Fire Service Queensland in particular to the Noosa Group.

"He has been involved in a range of activities, including provision of fire mitigation, operational training, community education and preparedness for bushfire responses.

"He has been an active emergency service practitioner at numerous significant events in the North Coast Region.

"His leadership and management abilities have inspired others to improve their skills and Mr Pike has developed a highly professional relationship with volunteers and staff in the area office.

"He has led by example and is well respected by RFSQ personnel and by the community."

Included in The Queen's Birthday 2015 Honours List are 519 recipients of awards in the general division of the Order of Australia who have been recognised for contributions and service to fellow citizens in Australia and internationally.

Chair of the Council of the Order of Australia, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston said the awards recognised service across a broad range of fields.

"They are public recognition of people who provide outstanding community service and whose achievements enhance national identity," Sir Angus said.

"These awards also recognise the 'quiet achievers' in our midst. They are people who serve the community, but do not seek accolades.

"All Australians are encouraged to nominate fellow citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the wellbeing of others for national recognition in the Honours List."

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia, http://www.gg.gov.au.

Gympie Times


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