Fireys Honored for Black Summer Efforts | Liverpool City Champion

More than 300 frontline workers in Victoria have been honored for their heroic efforts during the Black Summer bushfires.

Volunteer firefighters and CFA staff were awarded National Emergency Medals (NEMs) in East Gippsland on Friday and Saturday, three years after the deadly blazes.

Governor General David Hurley presented the awards at a ceremony hosted by the Country Fire Authority.

“The National Emergency Medal recognizes the efforts that have been made during some of our nation’s most difficult times,” Hurley said.

“The NEM is a way to say thank you to the recipients, and that Australia recognizes the service they have rendered.”

More than 5,500 medals will be awarded in the coming months to those who served during the crisis.

The Black Summer bushfires occurred in various parts of Australia and claimed nearly 450 lives from smoke inhalation.

It is estimated that three billion animals have been killed or displaced.

CFA chief executive Jason Heffernan said recovery efforts are underway.

“The 2019-2020 fires devastated eastern Gippsland and northeast Victoria. But out of this crisis came the most remarkable human spirit of generosity and ‘helping out’,” Mr. Heffernan.

“Our medal recipients exemplified that spirit, and I’m incredibly proud of each of them.

“Recovery efforts continue in affected communities to this day, and I hope this recognition and celebration of service will also aid in the healing process.”

Australian Associated Press

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