News

News Releases

Brave MFB firefighters honoured at medal ceremony

back to list
15 Nov 2015
Colleagues of brave firefighters gave them a standing ovation as they received award today.

Three MFB firefighters have been honoured for their bravery almost two years on from a gas explosion that nearly claimed the lives of three police officers.

Leading Firefighter Andrew Wood received the MFB’s highest honour, the Valour Medal, while shift mates Station Officer Wayne Sheridan and Qualified Firefighter Andrew McMahon received Board Citations.

On 4 January 2014 the three Port Melbourne firefighters responded to a call to assist police at a Middle Park apartment where a man had locked himself in and had opened the valve of a gas bottle in an attempt to take his own life.

The crew had just gained entry to the property when a reaction with the gas caused a large explosion, injuring three police officers and causing burns to Leading Firefighter Wood.

Firefighters assisted two of seriously injured police members to ground level when Leading Firefighter Wood realised that a female constable, whose clothing was on fire, was still trapped on the balcony.   Ignoring his injuries, he climbed the ladder to the balcony and brought her to safety.

MFB Chief Executive Officer Jim Higgins said the trio demonstrated courage, skill and professionalism to manage the incident

“The actions of these three firefighters are emblematic of an MFB that is working with our emergency service partners to build a safer community,” he said.

“They do themselves, their families and all their colleagues at MFB great credit and on this, and every day.”

The awards were presented at a staff function at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.

The official citations are as follows:

VALOUR MEDAL

Awarded to Leading Firefighter Andrew Wood

In recognition of the courage, commitment and dedication you displayed in the rescue of a seriously injured Victoria Police member at the gas explosion and fire that occurred in a second floor residential unit at 90 Hambleton Street, Middle Park, on 4 January 2014.  You, three Victoria Police members and the civilian occupant were inside the unit at the time of the explosion and fire.   You and Station Officer Sheridan assisted 2 seriously injured police members to escape the unit to ground level.   Once outside you realised that a female constable, whose clothing was on fire, was still trapped on the balcony.   Ignoring your own injuries, you immediately climbed the ladder to the balcony where you assisted her onto the ladder and brought her to safety.
Following this rescue you again put the safety of others before your own and continued to assist in providing emergency care to the other injured persons.   Your actions were above and beyond the call of duty and were in the finest traditions of the fire service.  This award is made in recognition of your outstanding efforts and reflects great credit on you and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

BOARD CITATION OF SERVICE

Awarded to Qualified Firefighter Andrew McMahon

In recognition of the professionalism, skill and compassion you demonstrated following the gas explosion and fire that occurred in a second floor residential unit at 90 Hambleton Street, Middle Park, on 4 January 2014.   At the time of the explosion you were at ground level and at risk of injury from the falling glass and debris.   Recognising that people were injured and being rescued, you brought Pumper 39A into the car park of the complex.   Your quick thinking and initiative enabled timely and immediate access to urgently needed emergency medical and firefighting equipment for the treatment of the injured.
Your demonstration of discipline and self control, in what had become a multi faceted and extremely stressful incident was in the finest traditions of the fire service and reflects great credit on you and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

BOARD CITATION OF SERVICE

Awarded to Station Officer Wayne Sheridan

In recognition of the professionalism, leadership, skill and compassion you demonstrated following the gas explosion and fire that occurred in a second floor residential unit at 90 Hambleton Street, Middle Park, on 4 January 2014.   At the time of the explosion you were blown backwards against the stairway landing where you sustained several injuries.  Despite these injuries you and Leading Firefighter Wood assisted two seriously injured police members to escape the unit to ground level.  What had begun as a routine request to assist Police gain entry was now an incident that required firefighting operations, and the urgent provision of emergency first-aid treatment for serious burns and other injuries sustained by three Victoria Police members, the civilian occupant and Leading Firefighter Wood.
The dedication and high level of leadership you demonstrated by continuing to manage, what had become a multi faceted and extremely stressful incident, until additional MFB resources arrived on-scene, was in the finest traditions of the fire service and reflects great credit on you and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

Downloads
No information available to download
Back to top
Facts and Features
Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

readAllSafetyTips
Its True

Only working Smoke Alarms save lives.

smokeAlarms
Dial 000 for emergency