Medal and clasp for Operation Bushfire Assist

Many people who took part in the firefighting effort during last summer’s bushfire emergency will be awarded the National Emergency Medal with clasp.

FILE PHOTO: Royal Australian Navy aircrewman Leading Seaman Ben Nixon of 808 Squadron assesses a NSW national-parks bushfire from his MRH90 Taipan helicopter. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Kelvin Hockey.

The National Emergency Medal can be awarded by the Governor-General to any person who has given sustained service during a nationally significant emergency.

The award will recognise those who protected lives and property on the front line during the bushfires and also those who served in support of those efforts.

The qualifying period of service for the award is between September 2019 and February 2020, but dates vary according to affected local-government areas in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.

Responders must have served a minimum of five days, consecutive or not, and meet other eligibility criteria.

Members of the ADF, NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and Queensland Police Service do not need to nominate for the award as a consolidated list will be prepared by each organisation – but individuals are should ensure their deployment or support during the emergency, particularly locations and dates, is accurately recorded by the organisation they served.

Specific geographical areas and qualifying dates and further information is available from the Governor General’s web site.

Information regarding local government areas can be located here.

 

RELATED STORIES: See CONTACT’s comprehensive coverage of Operation Bushfire Assist 2019/20 HERE.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

15 thoughts on “Medal and clasp for Operation Bushfire Assist

  • 10/01/2021 at 6:39 pm
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    This is from a Pom with 22years regular and reserve service and single GSM N.I. Last year completed 3 tours of fire fighting with in the WA boarders .we did have fires over here for most news W.A. does not exist

    Reply
  • 10/01/2021 at 11:35 am
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    I’m glad they’ve reduced the qualifying period and no longer discriminate between paid and volunteers as was the case during the ‘09 bushfires. So many more would be eligible if they applied this criteria to awarding the medal for the Vic fires ‘09. Same usual story of being rotated out around the 10 day mark due to fatigue while officers who sat in air conditioned offices made the 14 day qualifying period for manning a phone.

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  • 10/01/2021 at 11:22 am
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    Same scenario…in the Brisbane floods 2011 some hierarchy got it while those up to their waist in mud and sewerage searching for bodies got told they don’t qualify…we took some reserve personnel and they worked their arses off…

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  • 10/01/2021 at 11:05 am
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    Actually, the large majority of the ADF workforce for OP Bushfire conveniently do not qualify to receive the medal because of the date selected by the board. Almost all reservists who were required to respond to the first ever call out in our history, do not qualify because the qualification dates the bard have set out end only a few days in to the call out for almost every region. Reservists are getting completely snubbed and yet provided the majority of the workforce from an ADF point of view.

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    • 10/01/2021 at 12:10 pm
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      Hi John. Forgive me (and enlighten me) if I’m wrong on this, but, I can’t see how you can be right about reservists not qualifying…
      The callout of 3000 reservists was announced on 4 January 2020 – the emergency ran well into February (either the 6th or the 20th depending on location) – and the qualifying period for the medal is just 5 days.
      Did I miss something (or did you)?
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

      Reply
      • 12/01/2021 at 4:12 pm
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        Whilst I acknowledge some of that 3000 will receive the medal, however, as per Schedule 1 of the National Emergency Medal, a lot of the qualifying dates for regions including Queensland and South Australia finish on 6th January. Thereby only allowing 2 days of service to qualify after the call out, leaving a lot of reservists without a medal that other reservists are receiving for the same job at the same time, but in different areas

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        • 16/01/2021 at 12:31 am
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          How many reservists were in the Adelaide Hills? As far as I’m aware it was minimal, if any?

          Kangaroo Island is out to February 6th, as it should be.

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          • 20/01/2021 at 8:00 am
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            The same amount as in Kangaroo Island

            Reply
  • 10/01/2021 at 11:01 am
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    Feel the same as previous comment. Throughout my ARA RAAC service 1980-94 I lost count of number of bushfires, floods etc we deployed on. Ranging from a pair of fire trucks on local assistance to civil community in places like Wagga, Seymour, Wangaratta, Sydney fires of 94 and so on. Usual award maybe a delayed stand down day or two. This sort of “every player gets a prize” starts to render the medal bar meaningless and going down the US military way. Medals awarded for passing range shoots and passing out of basic employment training etc.

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  • 10/01/2021 at 10:53 am
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    We truly have entered the era of ‘everybody gets a prize’…….will every DEFAC event get a retrospective baubel too?

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    • 10/01/2021 at 12:39 pm
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      An acquaintance of mine is an Army Reservist in a service battalion been in since mid 80’s deployed once to the Solomons or something insignificant like that, never carried a weapon or fired a shot in anger…….walks around like a Mexican General on Anzac Day double rows.

      FFS

      Reply
      • 10/01/2021 at 12:55 pm
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        I call bullshit.
        The most he could have, based on your disrespectful description, is the ASM, DSM and Long Service Medal (and perhaps one National Emergency Medal with multiple clasps). If he’s got two rows, either you don’t know what he’s done or where he’s been, or he’s an imposter.
        If he deployed to Solomon Islands, he did carry a weapon.
        A lot of people deployed and rightly awarded for their service never fired a shot in anger, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, Somalia, Cambodia and even Vietnam.
        Any deployment overseas in the service of Australia is not insignificant. Your disrespectful assertion angers me.
        Brian Hartigan
        CONTACT Editor
        and proud veteran with five medals (including one for Solomon Islands)

        Reply
        • 10/01/2021 at 3:42 pm
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          I carried a can opener for 7 tours of Puckapunyal, never attacked a can with it but does that qualify me for the Caterers Combat Badge?

          That’s exactly my point it is bullshit, and I said an acquaintance not my twin brother. Its not my job or do I have any interest in being society’s bullshit detector and verifying every dickhead wearing a medal, as soon as you give everyone a medal for attendance that’s what it breeds, it breeds the dickheads to flood into RSL’s and parades as if they’ve tangoed with the taliban and won a VC.

          There’s a reason I’ve never taken my medals out of the box or joined the RSL or paraded, too many fucking heroes that can’t move on from the past or just talk shit because they’re just nobodies and it gives them a chubby.

          Couldn’t give a rats arse who did what and when, if the reserves deployed to it it wasn’t Polygon Wood.

          Reply
          • 16/01/2021 at 12:22 am
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            Sheesh. Angry much? Something tells me you’re just annoyed that someone called out your ridiculous initial comment.

            I’d just like to add, my mates in somewhere ‘insignificant like the Solomon’s’ might not have been shot at but they dealt with child rape, treating machete attacks on teenagers, drowning and gang warfare on a daily basis. I can absolutely guarantee to you they saw more then the average non-infantry type deployed to the MEAO – who by the way were much better paid, and ended up with more gongs for sitting in an air conditioned shipping container in Qatar.

            Everyone has a different role and experience. Just because you obviously have an issue with what you achieved, don’t take it out on everyone else.

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            • 24/01/2021 at 2:14 pm
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              Hate to poop on your parade there Main but you just described an average shift for any plod working the streets of Oz, that’s just human nature and you have to do 15 years of it before you can even think of recognition.

              Now I don’t want to put down your experiences but I’m pretty sure you had a group of Police that were there to deal with those issues and when required they called in the ADF reaction force as a back up. Totally agree its distressing to see what humans can do to each other but there is a big difference between observing it and taking a personal role in response to it.

              My point is its a slippery slope when you begin to recognise normal duties as events requiring recognition, and just because people participate doesn’t necessarily require they be presented with a medal to acknowledge it.

              There was a reason in wars past that you had to be ‘in theatre’ for a specified period to achieve a campaign medal, and rightly so.

              Reply

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