15 MFS firefighters receive Ministerial medals and commendations

Emergency Services Medal and Commendations - group inc chief

Fifteen Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) firefighters have been recognised by the Minister for Emergency Services with the Emergency Services Medal and Ministerial Commendations.

Their achievements range from progressing diversity, firefighter career development and live fire training opportunities – through to saving the multi-million dollar Edinburgh plastics factory and 100 jobs from a ferocious blaze.

Read on to learn more about their contributions to the emergency services sector, safety of the community and protection of South Australian assets and the economy.


Emergency Services Medal

Emergency Services Medal and Commendations - M Morgan

Deputy Chief Officer (DCO) Michael Morgan – Emergency Services Medal

DCO Michael Morgan is a person who is highly respected as a person of compassion, support and understanding not only for Firefighters but for other community groups and charities. The MFS Management has set about to further enhance the culture of the MFS building and supporting diversity and equality throughout the Service.

DCO Morgan has taken this challenge by building the Female Fire Fighters Forum as an opportunity for female firefighters to voice and address issues that may occur. He is also actively working to encourage more women to consider firefighting as a career. DCO Morgan continues to strive for fairness, equity and diversity throughout all he does and demonstrates leadership in social values, understanding and welfare so as to make the Emergency Services a recognised leader in this State.


Emergency Services Medal and Commendations - S Helmore

Station Officer (SO) Stuart Helmore – Emergency Services Medal

A major part of SO Stuart Helmore’s career has been focused on instructing firefighters in what is now termed ‘Structural Firefighting Training’ (SFT). In promoting the provision of this training, he has been a leading advocate for firefighter education and safety.

SO Helmore’s dedication has seen him train a countless number of firefighters from many agencies; and he gives up his own time on weekends to provide training to members of the South Australian Country Fire Service on a regular basis. He has trained instructors from interstate fire services. Again in his own time, SO Helmore attended an International SFT Instructor workshop in Canada as a ‘Master Instructor’. He assisted in developing an international SFT curriculum, as well as training future instructors in Canada. SO Helmore has been instrumental in developing the MFS SFT program which has been benchmarked against the best internationally. SO Helmore has been one of the major drivers behind the approved development of a world class SFT facility to be built at the Angle Park Training Centre.


Ministerial Commendations

Emergency Services Medal and Commendations C Mower

Station Officer (SO) Christopher Mower – Ministerial Commendation

The Senior Firefighter Development Program (SFDP) focuses on the role of the Station Officer and the Incident Controller, and includes the tasks of proceeding to an incident, assessing the incident, planning and implementing an operational response, and undertaking post-response activities. This important program teaches our future leaders to have high professional standards and be experts at what we do.

SO Mower showed initiative and lead the way in acquiring new simulation software and he has represented the MFS in National forums for the past five (5) years, including an active role in user groups and the National Simulation Network, both hosted by Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC). SO Mower worked diligently and performed this task, far and beyond his normal duties and saved the MFS purchasing the services of a computer programmer for this project.

SO Mower has built MFS scenarios for multiplayer ability, allowing the MFS to expose, train and assess up to three (3) individual students within the same scenario at the same time. The multiplayer environment maximises the student exposure whilst minimising cost and disruption to operational resourcing.


Edinburgh plastics fire – first arrival crews – Ministerial Commendations


Emergency Services Medal and Commendations - Crew

Salisbury 321 Crew – Edinburgh plastics fire response

Station Officer Byron Krop, Senior Firefighter Mark Haren, Senior Firefighter Michael Hansberry and Firefighter Piotr Dawidowski.

Salisbury 329 Crew - Edinburgh plastics fire response

Station Officer Collin Ween, Senior Firefighter Trevor Worsley, Senior Firefighter (now Station Officer) Justin Casserly and Senior Firefighter (now Station Officer) Paul Moran.

Elizabeth 331 Crew - Edinburgh plastics fire response

Station Officer (now Commander) Noel Dodd, Senior Firefighter Paul Rayner, Senior Firefighter Justin Ocenasek and Firefighter Stuart Giles.

On 17 January 2017 at approximately 7.20 pm, crews from Salisbury and Elizabeth stations formed part of the initial response to the fourth (4th) alarm structure fire at Maxiplas on Kaurna Avenue, Edinburgh.

In extreme temperatures and strong gusty winds, the fire spread through long dry grass and trees and impacted on the rear of the Maxiplas site which stored high volumes of plastic product and components as well as vehicles. The factory is a very large industrial building and is considered an extremely valuable asset to the South Australian economy and is a significant employer in the Northern suburbs.

Two crews from Salisbury and one from Elizabeth operated in extreme conditions before back up resources arrived and provided aid.

Given the complexity of the job and the ever changing dynamics of the fire in their sector, these crews went above and beyond to represent the MFS, demonstrating the core values expected of firefighters in our mission to save lives, property and environment.

The brave actions and the hard work demonstrated by these firefighters operating in extreme conditions at a large fire at Maxiplas contributed significantly to the preservation of major infrastructure, stock and jobs which, if lost, would have been a major blow to both the local and state economies.

Congratulations to the above personnel for their outstanding achievements, commitment to the Fire Service and for serving the South Australian community.