Tim Jeffery of the NSW Rural Fire Service Bonville brigade. Photo: Tim Jarrett
Tim Jeffery of the NSW Rural Fire Service Bonville brigade. Photo: Tim Jarrett

2020 second hottest year on record as firies commended

As 2020 is confirmed as the second hottest year on record, RFS members reflect on what was a huge collective effort to pull through the 2019/20 bushfire season.

On Thursday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed the global average temperature for 2020 was almost one degree above the 20th century average - and the second hottest on record.

And despite significant wet weather across much of the country in the back half of the year, it will no doubt be the soaring temperatures and raging bushfires earlier which will linger in people's memories.

The NOAA declaration comes shortly after members of the Rural Fire Service on the Coffs Coast were awarded their citations for work during the 2019/20 bushfire season.

The NSW Premier's Bushfire Emergency Citations were announced by Gladys Berejiklian back in September and went to all 65,000 service personnel involved.

 

 

District services coordinator, Rachael Eggins of the NSW Rural Fire Service Mid North Coast. Photo: Tim Jarrett
District services coordinator, Rachael Eggins of the NSW Rural Fire Service Mid North Coast. Photo: Tim Jarrett

Brigades and staff on the Coffs Coast received their citations in December and district services coordinator Rachael Eggins said the acknowledgment was well received.

Ms Eggins said the effort from the Mid North Coast region amounted to 2796 firefighter days with a total of 656 truck deployments for the season.

"It was an absolutely phenomenal effort from our volunteers, well exceeding anything they had ever done before," she said.

"So for us to have that acknowledgment … was extremely important.

Members of the Woolgoolga RFS brigade get their Premier's citations in December for work during the 2019/20 bushfire season.
Members of the Woolgoolga RFS brigade get their Premier's citations in December for work during the 2019/20 bushfire season.

"Most of the brigades and volunteers have been really pleased to get the citations, I think even those who are more humble are quietly pleased."

Bonville brigade's Tim Jeffery said the citation was a lovely initiative from the NSW Government, in particular because it recognised all those people who were working in the background - an essential part of any firefighting effort.

 

Tim Jeffery of the NSW Rural Fire Service Bonville brigade. Photo: Tim Jarrett
Tim Jeffery of the NSW Rural Fire Service Bonville brigade. Photo: Tim Jarrett

"Like the army, we can't put firefighters out there (on the fireground) without all that stuff going on behind," Mr Jeffery said.

"(The citation) covered a whole lot of people who don't actually go out onto the fire ground but do things to support people on the front line," Mr Jeffery said.

"That was the really important thing, it was a very inclusive award."



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