Fire Rescue Victoria is proud to acknowledge this year’s recipients of the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) for the 2022 Queens Birthday Honours.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer James Dullard, Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Roger Chitty, Commander Phil Taylor and Instructor Richard Cromb have been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) for the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours, in recognition of their outstanding dedication and tireless efforts to the community.
Acting Fire Rescue Commissioner Michelle Young said the award is in recognition of outstanding dedication and tireless efforts to the community.
“The Australian Fire Service Medal is awarded twice a year to acknowledge distinguished service by members of our fire and rescue services,” Commissioner Young said.
A/ACFO James Dullard’s governance in training and recruitment programs was instrumental to the foundation of recruitment courses and the promotion of inclusion and diversity across recruitment and training processes.
A/ACFO Roger Chitty has been integral to the wellbeing and safety of our community alongside providing frontline command and control duties, and providing ongoing and invaluable support in the maintenance of our organisational capabilities.
Commander Phil Taylor has led various operations and initiatives involving the continued enhancement of safety and equipment which continues to influence work practices, equipment and policy at FRV.
“On behalf of FRV I congratulate James, Roger, Phil and Richard for their unwavering commitment and dedication to all Victorians”, Commissioner Young said.
“FRV is proud to serve our communities and we are also incredibly proud of our staff who go above and beyond to discharge their duties.”
Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Roger Chitty
Mr Roger Chitty has delivered distinguished service over four decades, demonstrating exceptional commitment to the enhancement of workplace health and safety and the development of future leaders.
Mr Chitty demonstrates an unwavering concern for the physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety of firefighters, and displays an ongoing commitment to enhancing community resilience at community and strategic levels.
His commitment to operational duties during large scale events such as the Hazelwood Mine Fire, plays a crucial role in ensuring firefighter safety and the delivery of state control strategic intent. Mr Chitty continually demonstrates the utmost respect with regards to duty, his people, and the community.
More recently, this commitment can be seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the reintroduction of a regional lockdown and a Fire Rescue Victoria station becoming an exposure site. These challenges highlighted the willingness of Mr Chitty to step up to the challenges of leadership, to ensure the best health and safety outcomes are reached at all times.
Undoubtedly, his efforts during this time helped maintain the safety and wellbeing of our people, and the maintenance of our organisational capabilities.
Mr Chitty has very much earned the greatest of respect from his colleagues, largely stemming from his ability to somehow support broad organisational wide capability and improvement, whilst simultaneously supporting individual health and wellbeing. Mr Chitty is well known to make himself available 24/7 and there is no on-duty' or off-duty' when it comes to the welfare of his people. In his role as Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Mr Chitty displays genuine concern for his people on a daily basis.
Mr Chitty has, and continues to provide frontline command and control duties, attending major incidents involving structure fires, hazardous material incidents and multi-agency state events.
There is no doubt that without the influence of Mr Roger Chitty, the wellbeing and safety of our people, and ultimately the community, would be greatly reduced. His proactive and collaborative approach will continue to have immeasurable positive impacts on the wellbeing of personnel for years to come.
Commander Philip Taylor
Awarded for his commitment to the safety of firefighters, Mr Phil Taylor has given over 42 years' of service to the Victorian community as a firefighter in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV).
During this time, Mr Taylor has dedicated his career to making firefighting safer for all responders. He has led many projects to introduce safety initiatives and equipment.
Victorian firefighters are provided with world class structural firefighting uniforms, due to the exceptional project leadership Mr Taylor has provided. His commitment to continual improvement has resulted in the next generation of firefighting uniform being selected and made available to FRV firefighters.
Mr Taylor has a vast amount of operational experience, performing the role of Operational Commander in Western district, and leading the response to significant fires. He has used this experience in his current role of Health Safety and Wellbeing Commander to improve safety on the fire ground. He has taken learning's from attending chemical fires and developed and implemented safer systems of work for the benefit of responders. Mr Taylor continues to provide front line command and control duties by attending major incidents involving structure fires, hazardous material incidents and multi-agency state events.
Mr Phil Taylor's commitment to safety has influenced work practices, equipment and policy at FRV. His knowledge of safety is held in high regard within the sector and his commitment to health and safety of firefighters is admired by all.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer James Dullard
Assistant Chief Fire Officer James Dullard was recognised for his exceptional service to Fire Rescue Victoria for more than 40 years, performing a range of roles with an exceptional level of performance
ACFO James Dullard, joined Victoria’s fire and rescue services as a volunteer firefighter in 1978, before joining the Country Fire Authority as a recruit firefighter in 1988. After 15 years on shift, James returned to the Fiskville training college in 2003 and provided leadership, support and mentoring to more than 300 career firefighter recruits as an instructor and co-ordinator. He instigated significant improvements to training and recruitment approaches, and increased organisational awareness of fairness, inclusion and diversity across recruitment, training and promotional programs.
ACFO Dullard enhanced interoperability between the fire services and championed the work that laid comprehensive foundations for the establishment of a Victorian Recruit Firefighter course.
During the Fire Service Reform, James was identified as the perfect fit for a New ACFO role that would lead a district made up of both former MFB and CFA stations. His ability to develop relationships, lead people and manage change in his own style, made him the perfect fit and it is to his credit that Western District 2, has been a comparatively successful transition to FRV.
He was influential in leading fire service reform changes and worked with industrial bodies to position the newly established Fire Rescue Victoria’s contributions within the Emergency Management sector.
ACFO Dullard’s state response leadership has included responding as Incident Controller in Mallacoota during the 2020 Victorian Bushfires, State Resource Coordinator during the Sydney Bushfires in 2019, and as Deputy Incident Controller in Tasmania in 2014.
James, through his diligence, compassion and initiative has demonstrated a significant contribution to the fire services sector and strives to ensure that FRV is best placed to support Victoria’s communities into the future.
Instructor Richard Cromb
Mr Richard Cromb has distinguished himself through his outstanding commitment to the training and education of Victorian firefighters over the past 50 years and his exemplary leadership as a Level 3 Operations Officer within the Country Fire Authority (CFA). During his career, he has transitioned through the ranks of his volunteer brigade onto the staff of the authority, always retaining the essence of the drive which attracted him to CFA in the first place; service to the community and concern for their safety.
During his employment as a professional trainer, he has specialised in driving and pump operation, developing extensive training packages in specific skills and the introduction of new CFA firefighting appliances, while continuing to deliver more generalist courses. His skill as an Instructor has been recognised through extension programs that have seen him selected to deliver courses both across CFA and to metropolitan fire service colleagues.
Mr Cromb's exceptional talents as a practical educator has seen him lead the development and delivery of numerous training packages and training courses, drawing on his extensive experience and his deep personal understanding of the needs of firefighters on the ground. Mr Cromb remains to this day, a very active volunteer firefighter, a valued member of the Brigade Management Team responsible for driver education and skills maintenance, and he continues to give innumerable hours of personal time to brigade training, vehicle maintenance, specialist instruction and a raft of other brigade activities.
His experienced counsel and mentoring have been, and continue to be sought by every subsequent captain of the brigade. Mr Richard Cromb's skilled operational leadership has been both continuous and passionate, in pursuing the greater safety of the community and the prevention and suppression of fire in Victoria.
Reviewed 15 June 2022