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Firie enjoying BH

Monday, 3rd February, 2020

Dale Gillespie (right) with his proud family (from left) Fleur Riordan and Arlow (2) after he was presented with a National Medal for 15 years of service. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Dale Gillespie (right) with his proud family (from left) Fleur Riordan and Arlow (2) after he was presented with a National Medal for 15 years of service. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Broken Hill Fire Station’s Station Officer Dale Gillespie was last week presented with a National Medal for 15 years of service with Fire and Rescue NSW. 

The National Medal recognises long and diligent service by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in enforcement of the law or in times of emergency or natural disaster. 

Dale said it was a great feeling to receive the medal which recognises his dedication to the job.

“I wasn’t expecting it I’d kind of forgotten about it, after 15 years you don’t really remember these milestones click over but it does reflect how long I’ve been in the job for, which is quite a good feeling.”

Dale already has a few other medals under his belt, including a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 10 years of service, and a Unit Commendation for Meritorious Service from earlier in his career.

His desire to help others is what drew him to a job as a firefighter.

“I joined as a recruit in 2003 and went from there pretty much, I was on the family farm in the Finley Deniliquin area and I applied for some general recruitment with Fire and Rescue NSW or NSW Fire Brigade at the time.

“I got accepted that way and moved to Sydney to go to recruits college and got stationed in Sydney from there,” he said.

“I guess I liked the idea of joining a service where you help people in need, who are having trouble and you could go along and assist them on one of the worst days in their life a lot of the time and it’s an active job and quite a practical based job, which I also appreciate and enjoy.”

Many aspects of the firefighting job have changed in the time Dale has been involved, but he believes they’re all positive.

He’s seen multiple uniform changes, multiple truck changes and a bigger focus towards prevention, education and community awareness.

“Absolutely positive changes,” he said.

“It’s great to be more involved with the community in a proactive role, rather than just purely reactive to emergency response.”

Dale has been in Broken Hill since August last year after moving from Albury. He has thoroughly enjoyed it here so far.

He was promoted to Station Officer after he applied for a promotion with a vacancy at the local station.

Dale said the job is quite different in Broken Hill compared to Sydney.

“There are a lot less call outs here, but more focus on fire education, which there is just not enough time to do in Sydney.

“We play a larger role in the regional community.”

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