Simon Disney, Colleague and RFS NSW Volunteer

"Few firefighters worked as hard through Summer as Captain Scott Hart and his crew to earn the NSW Premier’s Bushfire Emergency Citation. As a fellow RFS NSW firefighter and CAT 1 driver, I can attest that the bushfires of 2019/20 will be seared into our collective memories for many years to come. I too am very grateful Bendigo Bank released me to attend the emergency last Summer. Our brigade was deployed to the Gosper’s Mountain fire with many days and nights also spent on standby in my local district -although I didn’t spend anywhere near as much time on the fireground as Scott Hart and his crew. 

It’s easy to forget that Rural Fire Brigades like Scott’s in Braidwood - which is on the way to Canberra’s holiday coast - don’t just fight fires. They deal with car accidents too and are often called out to attend horrific accidents at all times of the night and day - holidays in particular.  Those incidents– especially with kids – are not so easy to forget.  

Last season was also different in that there were fires starting and spreading during the night too, which is usually when crews can expect some respite. The pagers just kept going off – and the expectation that it will likely go off doesn’t make for easy sleep. Our families also live with heightened anxiety whether we’re away on a Strike Team or fighting fires closer to home and of course some volunteers, tragically, don’t get to radio in a weary “Fire Control, Yellow. Returned to station and closing down”.  2019/20 was a biggie and our branches don’t come much bigger than Braidwood when it comes to giving their absolute best for the community."