Australia Day honours for local firefighter

During his 32 year career, Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Station Officer Wayne Staples 

has trained hundreds of firefighters, been part of an urban search and rescue team 

deployed to Taiwan and searched the rubble of the Thredbo landslide for survivors. 

On Australia Day, Station Officer Staples was recognised for his leadership and 

commitment, receiving the Australian Fire Service Medal as part of the annual Australia 

Day Honours.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said Station Officer Staples, who has been the Senior 

Instructor on the Mid North Coast since 2003, was one of three FRNSW fire officers to 

receive the award.

“The Australian Fire Service Medal is one of the highest honours an Australian firefighter 

can receive and I am extremely proud of all the FRNSW recipients.

“Station Officer Staples has been a leader in the field of rescue within FRNSW, developing 

training packages which have been used across the workforce and contributed towards the 

development of a specialised urban search and rescue support vehicle, which is the largest 

vehicle of its kind in Australia. He also played a key role in the development of rescue 

equipment which FRNSW rescue units use today.”

Station Officer Staples joined FRNSW, then NSW Fire Brigades, in January 1981, and was 

promoted to the position of Station Officer in April 1996. Since then he has worked all over 

NSW training firefighters in rescue and other disciplines essential to the job of firefighting.

Commissioner Mullins congratulated Station Officer Staples on his award.

“Station Officer Staples is widely respected within FRNSW and by his colleagues at other 

emergency services. His leadership, commitment and positivity have been infectious 

amongst the firefighters he has worked with across the state, particularly on the Mid North 

Coast.

“He is a worthy recipient of this award and I congratulate him on this achievement and 

thank him for his service.”

Station Officer Staples will be presented with his medal in a ceremony at Government 

House later in the year.

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