Melton area CFA firefighters receive National Emergency Medal

CFA members in the Melton area have been awarded the National Emergency Medal for service during the devastating 2009 bushfires.

Representing Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells, Parliamentary Secretary David Southwick presented more than 100 medals today in Melton.

“CFA members from the Loddon Mallee regionprovided sustained service and support to protect communities during a period of great destruction and loss,” Mr Southwick said.

“These members worked hard and fought bravely to protect lives and property during a long and extremely difficult campaign.

“Each recipient of the National Emergency Medal played an important role, and I commend them for their courage and commitment in exceptionally difficult circumstances.”

More than 5,400 National Emergency Medals are being presented to CFA members across Victoria. Close to 600 medals have been presented at eight ceremonies in the Loddon Mallee CFA region, which covers the Melton area.

The National Emergency Medal was instituted in 2011 after the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi. It recognises sustained service during a declared, nationally significant emergency.

The medal awarded for Victoria’s bushfire service carries a clasp engraved with ‘Vic Fires 09’.

Mr Southwick said Victoria’s emergency services provided a critical service to local communities across the state.

“CFA members perform a tremendous job responding to serious challenges and emergencies,” Mr Southwick said.

“The Coalition Government is proud of the vital work performed by CFA, which helps protect 3.3 million Victorians and more than one-million homes and properties with more than 55,000 operational and non-operational volunteers.

“Their actions during the summer of 2009 are an example of the commitment and dedication shown by all of our emergency services personnel every day.”

Mr Southwick said the Coalition Government has a proven commitment to firefighters and provided more funding to Victoria’s fire agencies than any previous government.

“Since coming to office in 2010, the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion. This financial year the CFA Budget is $457 million, $58 million more than under the last Labor Budget,” Mr Southwick said.

“The Coalition Governmentalso announced another significant boost to the CFA’s emergency response capabilities, investing more than $29 million in the purchase of 78 new vehicles.

“These investments in the CFA highlight the Coalition Government’s strong commitment to the CFA and recognises the critical role our career and volunteer firefighters play in keeping Victorians safe.

“All of this is part of our program to strengthen Victoria’s emergency services and will have direct benefits for volunteers and the community.”

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