Members of the Gibson Volunteer Bushfire Brigade have been recognised for more than 360 years of dedication to their community.

A number of brigade members were awarded national service medals at their annual general meeting on September 22.

The nationally recognised medals acknowledge service in five year increments.

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Graeme Rickerby was the longest serving member recognised, after reaching 40 years of service before retiring from firefighting.

Brigade captain Blake Halford said when he found out bushfire service was recognised, he knew there were a lot of deserving members in the Gibson unit.

“It just goes to show the experience that we have and the commitment to the community we have as volunteers,” Mr Halford said.

Association of Volunteer Bushfire Brigade president Dave Gossage said it was an “inspiring opportunity” to meet the volunteer brigade.

“[These members] have been in the system for many decades and they’ve been here since the inception of the brigade,” he said.

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“They’re here for the community and are a part of the community.

“They’re not here for bureaucracy or city hall, they’re here for the right reasons.

“That’s what distinguishes a real volunteer apart from somebody who just wants to wear the undies on the outside.”

Mr Gossage said the association had lobbied the current and previous state governments to establish a nationally recognised medal, with WA being the last state in Australia to do so for bushfire brigades.

“We’ve now got a catch up to do, with all those members who deserve the medal being able to apply,” he said.

Jake Dietsch
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