CFS leaders recognised in awards
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Two leaders in the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) have been recognised with Australia Day Honours for their outstanding service to the local community.
CFS chief officer Greg Nettleton congratulated Peter Venning of the Morphett Vale brigade and Tracy "Bluey" Devine of the CFS Region Four office in Port Augusta on being awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).
Mr Venning adds the AFSM to an already distinguished volunteer career with CFS, which includes life membership of the CFS and the Morphett Vale brigade as well as a 40 year service medal. He joined the CFS at Gumeracha in 1973 and has been a volunteer ever since, also serving at Clare and then with the Morphett Vale brigade since 1982. He's been both Group Officer and Deputy Group Officer for the Mawson Group for almost 20 years.
"He is an exceptional leader and role model for volunteers in CFS, and has contributed to the modernisation of the service, particularly in areas of volunteer management, public safety and the financial management of brigades," Mr Nettleton said.
When the Noarlunga and Happy valley CFS groups merged in 1998, Peter helped steer the two groups towards a cohesive foundation.
"The solid foundation he established in the early days of the group set an extremely high standard which is still evident today. Much of Peter's work has been in the background with most volunteers unaware of how much time, effort and passion he has for the CFS. His dedication to the volunteers is unquestionably beyond the norm and he deserves to the recognised for this."
Tracy Devine – or Bluey as he's known to everyone - started with CFS at the Stirling North Brigade as a firefighter in 1989. In 2001 he joined CFS staff as Region Four Training Officer, and he was selected as Regional Operations Officer in 2005. This saw him work closely with brigades and groups, developing plans and initiatives to enhance the response and operational ability of the region
Mr Devine became Region 4 Commander in 2011 and still holds that position today. He has qualifications in bushfire investigation and incident management and has led a number of deployments to provide support to other regions and states, as well as responding with his local brigade, which is now Laura.
"Bluey is not only a generous volunteer, but also a dedicated employee who has lead staff at Region Four and throughout the state," Mr Nettleton said.
"His ability to handle large incidents such as the Bangor fire, which burned for almost a month, and the Woolundunga fire which also came close to homes, shows his strong leadership."