Bunbury Bushfire Brigade and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service member Jarred Kowal won the Youth Achievement Award at the 2019 Firefighting Awards on Saturday.

The 19-year-old said he was not expecting to win an award.

“It definitely came as a bit of a shock to be honest, we don’t do what we do for awards or recognition,” Mr Kowal said.

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“I was nominated by the lieutenant at the bush fire brigade and he has been someone that I have always looked up to so it was certainly an honour to be recognised by him. We provide a pretty important service to our community, especially the bushfire brigade throughout the summer.”

Mr Kowal said he was only 11 when he began volunteering as a firefighter and he encouraged more young people to get involved.

“I joined the cadets at the bushfire brigade so I have picked up a lot of skills and personal attributes which has really shaped who I am now,” Mr Kowal said.

“I’ve met a lot of great people and made some really good friends.

“You pick up a lot of skills and a lot of personal attributes that you might not get somewhere else and at the same time you get to help out your community.”

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Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan hoped the awards encouraged more volunteers.

“Their achievements demonstrate selflessness, professionalism, compassion and above all else, an unwavering commitment to protecting their communities,” he said.

“Volunteers play a vital role in responding to emergencies across our vast State and I hope the admirable efforts of this year’s recipients and finalists will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

Nicole Salmeri | South Western Times


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