SOME of the South West Region’s Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers were honoured at an awards ceremony in Geelong last month.
The annual ceremony recognised the significant service to the community by VICSES volunteers within the region’s eastern area.
More than 30 people attended the ceremony, recognising combined service of more than 280 years by the 20 award recipients in attendance.
Service awards were presented for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 35 and 40 years’ service.
Two members of the VICSES Bannockburn Unit, Nathan Hansford and Hugh Mitchell, were recognised for 15 years and 40 years’ service, respectively.
Mr Hansford started his volunteer position with the Bannockburn unit in 2003, before taking on the controller’s position in 2010, a position he still holds today.
Mr Mitchell joined the Geelong unit in 1978, before transferring to Bannockburn in 1989, where he was appointed as deputy controller in 1996 and took on the controller’s role in 2006. He has responded to more than 1,000 requests for assistance with more than 300 of these being rescue events. He continues to be an active operational member, and it well respected by his fellow members and the community.
VICSES chief officer (operations) Tim Wiebusch and assistant chief officer (South West Region) Alistair Drayton presented awards to the recipients.
“It is a great opportunity to recognise the tireless efforts of our volunteers and acknowledge the sacrifices they and their families make to support their community in times of need.” Mr Drayton said.
Other units with volunteers recognised included Bellarine, Colac, Corio, Geelong Regional Support, South Barwon, and Winchelsea.