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Two CFS members awarded highest honour

11/06/2013

Two SA Country Fire Service (CFS) members have been awarded the distinguished Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) for their long standing contribution to the CFS.

Frederick Stent of Penola and Robert Ziersch of Loxton were yesterday recognised at the Queen's Birthday Honours with each receiving an AFSM for their collective efforts spanning nearly 80 years.

CFS Chief Officer Greg Nettleton says Mr Stent and Mr Ziersch were both stand-out candidates.

"The AFSM is the highest honour a firefighter can receive and for this reason there is a rigorous selection process to determine the most worthy contenders," Mr Nettleton said.

"Mr Stent and Mr Ziersch have significantly invested in the CFS as volunteers, with both having held senior positions within their Brigades.

"With their long history of demonstrating leadership and displaying a solid commitment to the CFS and their communities, Mr Stent and Mr Ziersch were clearly deserving of the AFSM."

Mr Frederick Stent who has dedicated 45 years to the CFS was rewarded for his willingness to train and mentor others, having spent many hours passing on his skills and wisdom.

Mr Stent was also instrumental in creating a Forest Firefighting training package, which has changed the way firefighters approach and suppress plantation and native vegetation fires.

He also invested hours travelling through the south-east installing Fire Water signs and collecting intelligence about infrastructure, to assist firefighters in their response during incidents.

Mr Robert Ziersch was recognised for his 24 years of service during which he substantially increased membership numbers of his Brigade, and largely contributed to the formation of the new Chaffey CFS Group.

Mr Ziersch played a key role in encouraging female and cadet participation in the CFS and in accredited volunteer training.

He was also involved in developing the Harvesting Code of Practice and in private farm fire unit training.

"We congratulate Mr Stent and Mr Ziersch for their honourable achievements," said CFS Chief Officer Greg Nettleton.

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