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John Fitzgerald awarded 'Life Member'

Monday, 14 July 2014

 The NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) was pleased to induct John Fitzgerald from the Glenbrook/Lapston Rural Fire Brigade as a ‘Life Member’.

“Life membership is the highest award that can be bestowed on any Member and John most certainly meets the criteria,” said RFSA President Tim Arnott. “If the Association needs someone to attend a function, John is that man.  If the Division needs a topic researched, John is the first person asked.”

John has been involved with the Association since its inception in 1996 and floated the concept of a unified representative association long before it was established.  “An earlier entity known as the BBA (Bushfire Brigade Association) was formed running from 1984-89 but its demise was due in part to lack of funding and the tyranny of distance.  At a meeting in 1996 the FCOA (Fire Control Officers Association) decided to form a body representing both staff and volunteers.” explained John. 

 Always one of the Association’s most vocal supporters, John was integral to selling the concept to fellow members of the RFS in its early days.  “Some volunteers made a similar decision and the two groups formed an ad hoc committee resulting in our current association.”

Currently serving as State Council Delegate for Division 4, John uses his position to support his fellow RFS members and has always put the needs of RFSA membership above everything else, even during a most recent stay in hospital. 

He has been proud to witness the growth of the RFSA throughout the years, not only in the number of members but also through the support it gives to RFS staff and volunteers.

“The award was a total surprise” said John, “Currently the association is in a position to support the interest and welfare of all Members and I believe the association and its Members can look forward to the future with some confidence.”

John listed the greatest achievements of the Association as having volunteers included in committees, funds raised via raffles resulting in financial independence and the Grants Scheme and the RFSA’s involvement in consultative committees.

The RFSA is honoured to present John with life membership for his significant, quality and substantial contribution towards the growth and success of the Association above and beyond the normal expectations of any position he has served in. 

The Life Membership was officially awarded at a ceremony after the RFSA Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21st June 20114 at Parramatta.