Volunteer firefighter receives medal

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

After more than 30 years fighting fires and 15 years as Newman’s captain, Raymond Bonner has been recognised for his impact on the Newman Volunteer Fire Service.

Mr Bonner was announced as a recipient of the Austra-lian Fire Service Medal last month, an award by the governor-general for distinguished service by a mem-ber of an Australian fire service.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Mr Bonner has dedicated 23 years of service to the Newman Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and said he was humbled by the award. “Behind every person, there’s always a great team and it’s been a great experience here in Newman,” he said.

“It’s also a bit of recognition for the family because my father was in the fire service and a volunteer at (the Newman) brigade as well, so it’s a nice recognition for all of that too.”

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A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokes-woman said Mr Bonner was a champion of the remote Pilbara region.

“He has had an unprecedented effect on the operations and evolution of the Newman VFRS, thanks to his exceptional leadership during emergencies in the Newman area, his commitment to cultivating young people in the brigade, and his implementation of innovative changes, which have made Newman VFRS a vital asset of the East Pilbara region,” she said.

Named a life member of the brigade in 2005, Mr Bonner said his time at Newman VFRS had been quite interesting at times, but it was the people he had met along the way that had kept his passion alive.

From New South Wales’ Black Christmas Bushfires in 2001 to the Yarloop fires in 2016, Mr Bonner has travelled across the country protecting communities from the devastation of bushfires.

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