Awards and recognition

Australian Fire Service Medal

Australian Fire Service Medal

The Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) recognises distinguished service by members of Australian fire services. It is awarded to paid and volunteer members. The Governor General awards this medal on the recommendation of the Minister for Emergency Services.

View the list of recipients.

We award the medal each year as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Nominations are called for before January each year. The CFS Awards Committee reviews the nominations and forwards recommendations to the Chief Officer, the Minister for Emergency Services and the Governor General.

Nominations for awarding of the AFSM as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020 are now open. Nominations should be forwarded no later than Friday, 17 July 2020.

The sole criterion for the award of the Australian Fire Service Medal is distinguished service.

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

Forward nominations to:

  • Email:
  • Post:
    Strictly Confidential
    CFS Deputy Chief Officer
    Country Fire Service
    GPO Box 2468
    Adelaide  SA  5001

CFS Service Medal

CFS Service Medal

We award the CFS Service Medal automatically for meritorious service. We give this medal for 10 years of service. For each further 10 years of service, we add a number bar corresponding with that year.

We chose to depict the 8-pointed star on the medal as it is the traditional insignia of the CFS, formerly known as the Emergency Fire Service (EFS). The CFS star is also on the official dress uniform worn by volunteers and staff.

The star is not unique to the CFS; fire services all over the world recognise it. 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 8 virtues of Knighthood, which over time firefighters have adopted.

The 8 virtues of the CFS volunteer are:

CFS Star

  • Tact
  • Loyalty
  • Dexterity
  • Observation
  • Sympathy
  • Explicitness
  • Gallantry
  • Perseverance

The colour of the medal and ribbon symbolise:

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

AIES Young Volunteers Award

The Australian Institute of Emergency Services (AIES) Young Volunteers Award 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:

  • be a volunteer member of a emergency service organisation for a period of at least 2 years
  • be aged between 18 and 23 years of age
  • 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.


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.

Nomination Form

Send completed Nomination Form (PDF, 60KB) to the Division of the Institute in which the nominee resides.

Completed nominations can also be sent by email.

Division post and email addresses are outlined in the Contact Us page and on the Award Nomination Form.

Nominations must be received by 4pm, 1 March each year.

More information