WHEN we asked Wayne Staples if we’d have a file pic of him at the Port News, he said: “I doubt you’ll find one, I have deliberately kept a low profile for the past 10 years.”
You get the impression that’s the way he’d like it, but his private veil lifted in a big way when the phone rang hot on Saturday after his Fire Services Medal award in the Australia Day Honours List.
Port Macquarie-based Station Officer Staples is now the instructor for the modern-day breed of firefighter, and sadly for our community, he looks likely to step back from it all after this year.
“I am very honoured and I read the award letter in disbelief … but any award such as this is earned by a team and I can’t do my job without the help of the administration fleet, the other firefighters, and my wife and children who have made tremendous sacrifices in those 32 years,” he said. They are sacrifices his wife, Kim, says have been well worth making: “He is very passionate about his job and he gives a his all and there are people constantly phoning him for information and advice which is a testament to his knowledge and the kind of giving person he is,” Kim said.
FULL PROFILE: Wednesday’s Port News