Rotary calls for nominations for emergency services awards

WINNER: Captain Graham Parks (middle) with Emergency Services Minister David Elliott (left) and Rotary 9675 district governor Stephen Humphreys at last year's awards.
WINNER: Captain Graham Parks (middle) with Emergency Services Minister David Elliott (left) and Rotary 9675 district governor Stephen Humphreys at last year's awards.

PEOPLE who work in emergency services aren’t usually the type to seek accolades, but the Rotary club reckons their efforts deserve acknowledgement.

That’s why, for the third year, Rotary is seeking nominations for its NSW Emergency Services Community Awards.

The awards are designed to highlight the important work undertaken by emergency services personnel, who often go above and beyond the call of duty.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant described emergency service workers – paid and volunteer – as “pillars of strength” in our communites.

“They are the ones we rely on in times of crisis, but they also carry out many selfless acts at other times, through fundraising, community engagement and building community resilience.”

The awards are open to all emergency services personnel from the six official NSW emergency services agencies: Fire and Rescue, Marine Rescue, Ambulance, Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service and the Volunteer Rescue Association.

They are the ones we rely on in times of crisis, but they also carry out many selfless acts at other times.

Troy Grant

Funds raised through the awards support the Australian Rotary Health PhD Research Scholarship into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in emergency services personnel.

Members of the public and emergency services workers can submit online nominations via the awards website at www.rotaryescawards.org.au. Nominations close on Friday, May 19.

A panel of independent judges will assess nominees on three key criteria:

  • Community service above and beyond the call of normal duty, which best exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self
  • Personal attributes
  • Contribution to their organisation

Winners will be announced at an awards dinner in August.

Last year’s major winners were David Cotsios, from the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association, and Graham Parks, from Fire and Rescue NSW.

David Cotsios juggles his volunteer role with the Batlow Search and Rescue Squad with his paid job as an ambulance officer.

Graham Parks, fire and rescue captain at Leeton, has served for more than 30 years and devotes much of his spare time to offering counselling to colleagues as well as to other members of the community.