Scot MacDonald
6th Jun 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC has congratulated Beresfield Paramedic Paul Vowels and Rural Fire Service Inspector & District Coordinator Glenn Byrnes on their success at the 2018 Rotary Clubs and Districts of NSW and ACT Emergency Services Community Awards.

Mr Vowels was awarded the 2018 NSW Ambulance Officer of the Year and Mr Byrnes the 2018 NSW Rural Fire Service Officer of the Year.

“Mr Vowels is an active member of the Hunter community. He has taken part in a number of community events such as the Great Cycle Challenge in 2015 where he successfully raised more than $10,000 for kids with cancer. He also came up with the idea of creating a “Mini Men’s Shed” to help elderly people get through their day,” Mr McDonald said.

“Mr Byrnes is a local hero who has more than 30 years full-time service up his sleeve. When Dungog was devastated by floods in 2013, Mr Byrnes was there with the RFS and also helping the Lions Club.”

“Our local emergency services personnel and volunteers selflessly respond to all manner of emergencies and I’m very proud Mr Vowels and Mr Byrnes have been praised on a state stage for their efforts.”

“On behalf of the Hunter Community I thank both men for their dedication and commitment to our community and wish them all the best for their futures.”

Award recipients recognized at the ceremony held at Bankstown Sports Club on Friday 1st June were from across six organisations;

  • Fire & Rescue NSW
  • Marine Rescue NSW
  • NSW Ambulance
  • NSW State Emergency Service
  • NSW Volunteer Rescue Association
  • NSW Rural Fire Service

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said the awards celebrate the outstanding contribution of emergency services workers and volunteers who tirelessly work to ensure the safety of others in times of disaster and devastation.

“We should never take for granted the work our emergency services staff and volunteers do and it’s important to acknowledge the unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond,” Mr. Grant said.

The event is an initiative of the Rotary Districts & Clubs of NSW and ACT and is the only time all ten NSW and ACT Emergency Service organisations are recognised in a combined awards program.