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Firefighters honoured on Australia Day

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26 Jan 2019
Two veteran MFB firefighters have been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal as part of today’s Australia Day Honours.

Commander Mick Tisbury and Leading Firefighter Colin Campbell were recognised for their decades of dedicated service, professionalism, leadership and innovation.

The Australian Fire Service Medal recognises distinguished service by members of Australia’s fire services. It is awarded to both paid and volunteer firefighters.

The medal is bestowed on recipients by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the responsible Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers.

Both firefighters have served MFB and the Victorian community for almost three decades.

Commander Tisbury is a dedicated member of MFB’s PFAS Project Team whose efforts have improved firefighter safety and led to the development of world-class PFAS exposure standards for firefighting appliances and equipment.

Leading Firefighter Campbell is a well-respected Multicultural Liaison Officer in Melbourne’s west who has worked to improve the lives and safety of vulnerable community members throughout his career. His efforts have helped prevent fires and promote positive relationships between emergency services and the community.

Commander Tisbury said he was “surprised but honoured” to receive the award.

“I don’t do what I do for awards but it’s nice to be recognised,” he said.

Leading Firefighter Campbell, who is based at MFB’s Western District Office in Sunshine, said he was privileged to witness every day the impact firefighters can have on the community.

“I see my role as bridging the gap between firefighters and the community,” he said.

“As an MLO I work with many newly-arrived community members who have negative associations with people in uniform.

“I love helping people overcome their fears and feel confident to call Triple Zero (000) knowing we’re here to help.”

For the full citations, please see below:

Mr Colin CAMPBELL

 Mr Campbell has served the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), and the community of Victoria, for over 29 years. During his 16 years of service as a Leading Firefighter he consistently sought to identify opportunities to drive and promote change within the MFB, and included efforts in national and international partnerships and networks, communities, support services, fire and emergencies services organisations, local government sector and not for profit charities.

 He has held his current position as MFB Multicultural Liaison Officer for 10 years and continues to give back and to educate the community about risk and hazard identification in the home, workplace and community. His hardworking approach to making a difference to others in addressing Fire Safety messaging, teaching good practice to diverse groups and multicultural communities, has helped to decrease the amount of preventable fires in the home through the Taste of Harmony and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) football programs. These initiatives focus on strengthening ties between the emergency services and the CALD communities.

 Mr Campbell makes a difference to the lives of people who may be vulnerable to fire in the home or workplace, and provides them with skills and knowledge to respond, recover or to prevent these events from occurring. His commitment to the community of Victoria is most noteworthy.

Mr Michael TISBURY

Mr Tisbury joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) in Victoria in 1989 and has worked diligently over the last 29 years providing distinguished service to the community as an operational firefighter, training instructor and officer on the fire ground. He has demonstrated exceptional performance over a prolonged period, particularly in relation to the continuing development of training performance standards and his strong leadership in delivering a safety culture within the training environment.

He led the introduction of new benchmark water quality standards for the safety of trainees and staff at the new Victorian Emergency Management Centre (VEMTC), Craigieburn. His work in this area has influenced the design and operation of fire service training complexes which has improved the safety of training that is delivered to firefighters. 

He has dedicated significant personal time into the research of PFAS exposure to firefighters that has led to the development of world class PFAS exposure standards along with best practice cleaning and testing regimes for firefighting appliances and equipment. His dedication to firefighter safety was a key influence in relation to The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Country Fire Authority's Fiskville Training College which proved vital in improving safety standards at all Victorian firefighting training grounds.

Mr Tisbury, through his achievements, has demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to the safety of all firefighters, and to the community, in Victoria. 

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