Awards & recognition

Australian Fire Service Medal

Australian Fire Service MedalThe Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) recognises distinguished service by members of Australian fire services. It is awarded to paid and volunteer members. The Governor-General awards this medal on the recommendation of the Minister for Emergency Services.

See the previous recipients.

We award the medal each year as part of the King's Birthday Honours List. Nominations are called for before January each year. The CFS Awards Committee reviews the nominations and forwards recommendations to the Chief Officer, the Minister for Emergency Services and the Governor-General.

The sole criterion for the award of the Australian Fire Service Medal is distinguished service.

Preparing a nomination:

Forward nominations to:

  • Email:
  • Post:
    Strictly Confidential
    SACFS Awards Committee Executive Officer
    Country Fire Service
    GPO Box 2468
    Adelaide  SA  5001

CFS Service Medal

We award the CFS Service Medal automatically for meritorious service. We give this medal for 10 years of service. For each further 10 years of service, we add a number bar corresponding with that year.

We chose to depict the 8-pointed star on the medal as it is the traditional insignia of the CFS, formerly known as the Emergency Fire Service (EFS). The CFS star is also on the official dress uniform worn by volunteers and staff.

The star is not unique to the CFS; fire services all over the world recognise it. It is the Cross of Saint John which originally emerged from the Maltese Cross. Used by the Knights of Saint John during the crusades in Jerusalem, the points on the Maltese Cross represented 8 virtues of Knighthood, which over time firefighters have adopted.

The colour of the medal and ribbon symbolise:CFS Service Medal

  • Bronze represents the wealth of the land and the colour of the desert earth
  • Red is the colour of fire and threat of danger to the community
  • Yellow is the healing sun and the common colour of a firefighter's protective clothing
  • White symbolises the unity of agencies working together with the community against common threats and for the peace that comes from a resilient community.

The 8 virtues of the CFS volunteer are:

CFS Star

  • Tact
  • Loyalty
  • Dexterity
  • Observation
  • Sympathy
  • Explicitness
  • Gallantry
  • Perseverance

National Emergency Medal

National Emergency MedalThe National Emergency Medal is awarded to persons who rendered sustained or significant service during nationally-significant emergencies in Australia. The Bushfires 2019-20 was declared a nationally-significant emergency for the purpose of the National Emergency Medal.

The Governor-General may approve an award for:

  • sustained service, on the recommendation of the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat.
  • significant service, on the recommendation of the National Emergency Medal Committee.

Sustained service is awarded to those who have rendered sustained service in the declared nationally-significant emergency for the purpose of the Medal. The criteria for sustained service stipulates what constitutes ‘sustained service’ for each emergency and is determined by the National Emergency Medal Committee, in considering advice from relevant organisations and jurisdictions.

Significant service is awarded to those who rendered significant service in the nationally-significant emergency. The significant service criteria stipulates that the service must be extraordinary. The Committee considers each nomination on a case-by-case basis before making a recommendation to the Governor-General.