Awards and Recognition :: CFS

Awards and Recognition

Australian Fire Service Medal

Australian Fire Service MedalThe Australian Fire Service Medal recognises distinguished service by members of Australian fire services. It is awarded to paid and volunteer members. The AFSM is awarded by the Governor General on the recommendation of the responsible minister. For CFS and the other South Australia fire services, the responsible minister is the Minister for Emergency Services.

A list of recipients is available here.

Nominations for awarding of the AFSM as part of the Australia Day Honours List 2018 are now open.

Please note the CFS Awards Committee has prepared AFSM guidelines and nomination form - see below . Nominations on the template should be forwarded by email to or alternatively marked 'Strictly Confidential' and forwarded by post to the CFS Deputy Chief Officer, Country Fire Service, GPO Box 2468, Adelaide SA 5001.

After prioritisation by the CFS Awards Committee, nominations are forwarded to the Chief Officer and the Governor-General, through the Minister for Emergency Services, so adherence to timelines is important. Therefore nominations are to be forwarded no later than Friday, 14 July 2017.  

As detailed in the guideline, the sole criterion for the award of the Australian Fire Service Medal is distinguished service. "Distinguished service" includes service that is above and beyond the normal zealous and faithful discharge of normal or ordinary service, whether short term or prolonged. It could be a special achievement or success in the performance of duty in difficult or unusual circumstances, or sustained high level performance with outcomes and recognisable benefits to CFS, the fire service in general or the community. The service must be exceptional. Long service alone should not be used as a basis for making nominations.

The CFS Awards Committee looks forward to receiving your nominations.

Find out more about preparing a nomination for the Australian Fire Service Medal:

CFS Service Medal

CFS Service MedalThe CFS Service Medal, automatically awarded for meritorious service, is presented for 10 years of diligent service to the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS). For each increment of 10 years service a number bar corresponding with that year will be added.

The depiction of the eight-pointed star on the medal was chosen as it is the traditional insignia of the CFS, formerly known as the Emergency Fire Service (EFS). The CFS star is also seen on the official dress uniform worn by volunteers and staff. The star is not unique to the CFS, as it is recognised by fire services all over the world. It is the Cross of Saint John which originally emerged from the Maltese Cross. Used by the Knights of Saint John during the crusades in Jerusalem, the points on the Maltese Cross represented eight virtues of Knighthood which over time firefighters have adopted. The eight virtues of the CFS volunteer are:

CFS Star


The medal is suspended from a ribbon 32 millimetres wide with five vertical stripes in the colours that represent the CFS corporate colours. The ribbon bar is 32 millimetres wide.

The miniature of the medal is 16 millimetres in diameter and is suspended from a miniature ribbon 16 millimetres wide.


For the Service, the colour of the medal and ribbon symbolises the following:

  • The Bronze of the medal represents the wealth of the land and the colour of the desert earth;
  • Red is the colour of the threat of fire and danger to the community;
  • The Yellow is the healing sun and the common colour of a firefighter's protective clothing;
  • The White symbolises the unity of agencies working together with the community against common threats and for the peace that comes from a resilient community.


The CFS Service Medal is a state medal and must only be worn on the right breast on all occasions. Only Australian Honours List medals may be worn on the left breast.

A recipient is eligible for this medal also receives authorised state medals worn on the right breast, the CFS Service Medal takes its precedence in  order of date eligibility after any valour/distinguished awards, positioned from the wearer's right to left. The medal and bars must not be worn with the CFS field uniform (yellow or green) during any operational duties or training. For further information please refer to the CFS Uniform Manual.


The full-size medal is worn on the right breast of the CFS dress uniform when attending day functions (customarily before 1700 hrs unless specifically authorised for evening wear) such as Anzac Day, Remembrance Day or other CFS ceremonies. The top of the medal ribbon is to be positioned below the name tag. Ribbon bars are not to be worn at the same time as medals.


The miniature medal is intended for evening wear (after 1700 hrs). it is worn on occasions such as official receptions and dinners. With all other types of dress, the miniature medal is worn like the full-sized medal on the right breast, with the top of the ribbon positioned below the name tag. Ribbon bars are not to be worn at the same time.


The ribbon bar may be worn with all forms of dress at the discretion of the holder, with the exception of the CFS field uniform (yellow and green). It should not be worn at the same time as the full-size or miniature medal. Where possible, the ribbon bar is worn centrally above the right breast pocket. When a name tag is worn the name tag should be positioned below the ribbon.


A lapel badge may be worn on civilian clothes at any time. Only one badge should be worn at a given time and not when other insignia pieces are worn.

Eligibility Criteria

Current SACFS Members:

On the 1st of September of each year (referred to as the eligibility date) the CFS Service Medal, or subsequent clasps, will be automatically awarded to those members who have cumulative service in any category of membership that meets or exceeds ten years and zero months. Category of membership is to include service as a cadet and the cumulative service period is to be recorded on the membership database.

The CFS Service Medal is awarded only once, subsequent increments of ten years service entitle the recipient to receive the appropriate service clasp. Clasps are awarded for cumulative service that meets or exceeds each subsequent ten year increment following the awarding of the Service Medal.

Only one clasp, being the most current, is to be displayed on any medal or ribbon bar. Unlike the National Medal, the clasps for the Service Medal indicate the length of service by a raised number within the clasp; it is therefore not appropriate to wear multiple clasps.

Non Current CFS Members:

In the event that a member ceases their service with the CFS after September 1st, 2009 (and prior to the eligibility date of any subsequent year), if at that time the member is eligible for either the CFS Service Medal or a subsequent clasp, the member may apply through their brigade for recognition of the appropriate award. Such an award may be included in the annual award ceremony or may be awarded individually, according to the request received from the brigade.

Posthumous Award

The Chief Officer has the power to award the CFS Service Medal and/or clasps posthumously upon receipt of a written request. Requests can be made by members of the immediate family or from brigade/group/staff personnel.

Honorary Award

The Chief Officer has the power to award the CFS Service Medal and/or other clasps to those who the Chief Officer are worthy recipients of the award. Honorary recipients are not limited to current or retired CFS members, but are at the discretion of the Chief Officer.

Other Agency Members

The Chief Officer may award the CFS Service Medal and/or clasps to those non-CFS members who through employment within supporting agencies can demonstrate that their position required the ongoing provision of substantial support and advice for the designated service period. Personnel eligible within this category should make a direct application to the office of the Chief Officer.

AIES Young Volunteers Award

The AIES Young Volunteers Award, proudly supported by the Emergency Response Division of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, aims to reward one young person for their outstanding and ongoing contributions and commitment to their chosen emergency service.

The award winner will receive a fully sponsored voyage in the sail training ship Young Endeavour where he or she can develop their skills in teamwork, leadership and communication.

Runners up will receive a certificate of commendation from the AIES.


A member of the public, the young volunteer's supervisor, manager or another emergency service member, can make nominations. At least two referees who have known the nominee for a minimum of 12 months and who can attest to the nominee's volunteer service must second all nominations.

Nomination criteria

The nominee will be assessed on his or her:

  • commitment to the emergency services including continuity and length of service;
  • demonstrated willingness to learn and progress within the emergency service;
  • current or future leadership potential.

The nominee must:

  1. be a volunteer member of a emergency service organisation for a period of at least 2 years;
  2. be aged between 18 and 23 years of age;
  3. be available to undertake the voyage on the date nominated in the award.

In addition, nominees must meet all of Young Endeavour's mandatory selection criteria including:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
  • be able to swim 50 metres and be in good health;
  • weigh less than 120kg;
  • complete a medical examination to the required standard;
  • not having completed a voyage in Young Endeavour previously.


The award committee will select the winner by assessing each nomination against the selection criteria. The authenticity of all claims in the winning submission will be verified.

The award committee's decision of the winner of the AIES Young Volunteer's Award is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


Within 3 months of completion of the voyage, the awardee will be required to provide a written report on their voyage and make a presentation at an AIES Division meeting. The written report will be published in the Institute's journal National Emergency Response and by the award sponsor the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.


Nominations should be marked CONFIDENTIAL and sent to the Registrar of the Division of the AIES in which the nominee resides. Details can be found on the Institute website at

Nominations must be received by 4pm 1st February each year.

Terms and conditions

This award is subject of the terms and conditions as detailed on the AIES website.

More information

More information on the award can be found on the Institute website at or download the poster with information here.