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Award for flood work

Tuesday, 22nd April, 2008

Local Ambulance Officer Keith Diemar has been awarded a State Medal for his role in Emergency and Recovery Response during the devastating 2007 Hunter and Central Coast Storms.

Mr Diemar was awarded the Government of NSW State Medal by NSW Ambulance District Officer Kathy Mitchell in a surprise ceremony yesterday.

His colleagues and family were there to congratulate him and wife Julie said they were all very proud.

Mr Diemar moved from the Newcastle region to Broken Hill in November, a month before the region's ambulance officers were awarded State Medals for their response to the storms.

On Friday, June 8 last year the Hunter Valley and Central Coast regions of the State were hit with the worst storms seen in NSW in 30 years.

They caused widespread flooding and damage to houses, businesses, schools and health care facilities, as well as to critical infrastructure.

Ten people lost their lives as a result of the storm, about 6000 residents were evacuated and over 200,000 homes affected.

A natural disaster was declared for 19 local government areas.

Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service of NSW, Greg Rochford, said that the local paramedics worked extended shifts in treacherous conditions, and in some cases when their own homes had been threatened or damaged.

"The efforts of all Ambulance personnel went well beyond normal duties and demonstrated genuine care and support for the Hunter community," he said. 

While Mr Diemar was happy to be presented his State Medal, he remained modest. 

"We just went to work doing our jobs," he said.

"It was just another day."

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