Hard-working volunteers honoured with awards

QUEENSLAND State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers operating within the state's central region were recognised at an awards ceremony in Rockhampton on Saturday.   

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Assistant Commissioner SES Peter Jeffrey presented the awards and said the SES Week Awards were an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and commitment of all SES volunteers.   

The SES Central Region Member of the Year was presented to Cheryl Ireland (Rockhampton SES Group) for outstanding leadership, integrity and commitment during the Rockhampton Regional Council SES Unit's response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia.   

"Cheryl has continuously shown outstanding leadership and management skills within SES operations in the Central Queensland area," Mr Jeffrey said.   

"Cheryl has been identified as a key member of the Rockhampton Regional Council SES Unit Incident Management Team, and has often taken on the role of Incident Controller during major operations.   

"She is a true leader who highlights the reason SES volunteers are one of the most trusted emergency volunteer groups in Australia."   

Mr Jeffrey presented Rockhampton Regional Council SES Unit with the Regional Unit of the Year award for continuous dedication to building their capability and providing an exceptional emergency response service to the community.   

"Over the past year, the Rockhampton Regional Council SES Unit has clearly demonstrated their ability to respond effectively to the needs of the community, not only within its individual SES Groups but as a combined SES Unit, as was evident during Tropical Cyclone Marcia," he said.   

Regional Operational Response of the Year was awarded to Livingstone SES Unit for outstanding achievements during the SES emergency response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia.   

"Livingstone SES Unit volunteers recorded almost 2050 operational hours during this activation," Mr Jeffrey said.   "As a team, they worked in collaboration with other SES Units to successfully deliver comprehensive and coordinated emergency services to a community badly affected by the category-five cyclone."  

An Outstanding Service Certificate for exceptional service to the SES was awarded posthumously to one of the region's longest-serving volunteers, Lyle Dobbs of the Rockhampton SES Group. Mr Dobbs joined the SES in October of 1975.   

SES Week certificates were also presented to volunteers who displayed exceptional dedication to their SES Units or Groups and communities.  

Volunteers who received SES Week certificates were: Chris Bartz (Rockhampton SES Group), Dean Gibson (Yeppoon SES Group), Ronald 'Paul' Watkins (Gracemere SES Group), Brandon Gordon (Biloela SES Group), Caroline Smith (Moura SES Group), Cindel Shackleton (Yeppoon SES Group), Dion Schloss (Gracemere SES Group), Larry Richardson (Rockhampton SES Group), Melanie Newbery (Yeppoon SES Group) and Warren Spreadborough (Emu Park SES Group).  

For 40 years' service to the SES, Linda Frawley of the Rockhampton SES Group was presented with her sixth clasp to the Meritorious Service Medal and a 40 year anniversary plaque. Ms Frawley joined the SES in August 1975.    

The SES Central Region supports 16 SES Units, with more than 1,150 active volunteers operating out of 64 SES Groups. The region covers an area from Rosedale in the south to Bowen in the North and as far west as Winton.   

In the 2014-2015 financial year, SES members in the Central Region recorded almost 83,500 volunteer hours across operational, training and community engagement activities.  

Of these, 11, 245 hours were in response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia. 

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