Awards honour decades of dedication

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 12:00 16/06/2014
Peter Baker
BARRY HARCOURT/Fairfax NZ
Blackmount rural firefighter Peter Baker finds hotspots at fire near the Hump track in 2011. He was awarded a gold star for 25 years of service as a firefighter at the weekend.

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Volunteers are the heartbeat of small rural fire crews and the dedication of several volunteers in Blackmount was recognised at the weekend.

Volunteer Rural Fire Force acknowledged the hard work of numerous volunteers, some who have clocked up decades of service to the team.

Peter Baker received a gold star for his service spanning 25 years. He was too modest to talk about his achievements and said several crew members had been there longer and had worked harder than him and that  they were the ones who deserved the spotlight.

''It seems like a long time but there is about three or four guys who have got it before me, it's really not a big deal, you turn up every now and again through the years.''

Those who have racked up more than Baker's quarter of a century were also acknowledged, with Frank O'Brian and chief Neil Robertson both hitting 31 years of service and Mike McLees marking 28 years.

Several other crew members were acknowledged for three, six, eight and 10 years of service as well.

The achievements were celebrated with a dinner and awards ceremony at the weekend.

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- The Southland Times

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