At a recent meeting of the Stawell Fire Brigade, service awards were presented to volunteers recognising more than two centuries of service to the community.
David Hateley and National Medal recipient Noel Cray, topped the list with 45 years continuous service each. Geoff Ballinger received the prestigious Gold Star Award from Fire Brigades Victoria for more than 30 years service to that organisation.
The 2013 Firefighter of the Year went to Anthony Buss who notched up more than 100 turnouts for the year. During 2013 there were 126 incidents Stawell Brigade attended whereas the first two months of 2014 totalled more than 40, aside from the Black Range and Grampians fires.
Stawell firefighters also attended the major fires north of Melbourne.
CFA Operations Officer David Harris acknowledged the tremendous job the members of Stawell Fire Brigade did during the Black Range and Grampians fires.
"As well as the sustained effort in keeping the trucks operating a number of individuals stepped up to the roles of Strike Team Leader, Sector Commander and Divisional Commander as well as critical support in the Command Centre," David said.
Captain Tim Hughes extended sympathy and good wishes to those who suffered loss or hardship during the fires and thanked the community for their support.
"Our task was made that much easier by the efforts of individuals, businesses and organisations in the community," Tim said.
The fire season is not over yet and until significant rainfall occurs Fire Restrictions remain in place.