Fire brigade member of the year award comes to Coffs Coast
VOLUNTEER fire fighter Wal Gatley is the toast of the NSW Rural Fire Service Association.
The Coffs Harbour resident and member of the Solitary Rural Fire Brigade was named member of the year at the RFSA honours and awards evening.
Wal has been a dedicated supporter since the Coffs Harbour branch was formed in 1998 and is currently working with local members to build a future RFSA branch in Bellingen.
"I've been a supporter since day one here in Coffs Harbour and I enjoy keeping brigades up to date and on board with the benefits of being an association member," he said.
"Often, during the quiet times you can find people lose interest in what's going on.
"So I like to make sure they know there are always events, programs and opportunities available through the RFSA.
"All of this cannot be achieved with the support of the brigades and elected representatives."
Wal never misses a chance to pass on information regarding field officer meetings, brigade meetings or other platforms and is a passionate advocate for the association and its endeavours.
Receiving the title came to Wal as a "total surprise."
"As a volunteer you don't contribute for recognition so to receive an award like this is an honour," he added.