FRV Assistant Chief Fire Officer's Peter Baker and Stephen Walls have been awarded the prestigious Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) in recognition for their outstanding service to the community. Both are currently seconded to the Country Fire Authority.
FRV Commander Steve Watts and Senior Station Officer Simon Scharf have also received AFSM awards.
Between them, the veteran firefighters have more than 160 years’ distinguished experience under their belts.
Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block welcomed the news and congratulated recipients on their well-deserved honour.
“It’s fantastic to see our firefighters’ efforts and service to the community recognised today, Commissioner Block said.
“All the recipients have demonstrated exceptional ability and dedicated service to the community over many years.
“Their commitment to making Victoria and FRV a safer and better place is something we can all draw inspiration from.
“I am incredibly proud of them all.”
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter Baker
ACFO Baker has developed strong relationships within the sector for almost five decades and played an integral role in the establishment of the precursor to the State Control Centre.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Stephen Walls
Commander Walls has established himself as a pre-eminent authority on incident and emergency management systems and practices over 42 years of service.
Commander Steve Watts
Highly respected within FRV, Commander Watts regularly imparts knowledge and advice to operational and corporate colleagues looking to develop their understanding of emergency management further.
He has also used his high standing within the agency to advocate for positive cultural awareness and change.
This advocacy work continues in the community as well, where Steve invests his time and energy into raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with at 56. His work has raised tens of thousands of dollars towards research and advocacy, and helped raise the profile of the disease and its management.
Senior Station Officer Simon Scharf
SSO Scharf has made an enduring contribution to the safety of firefighters and the Victorian community which includes the successful development of night aerial fire-bombing operations, a world first.
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Reviewed 23 June 2021