Tasmania’s Emergency Services rely on an army of skilled volunteers to help respond to a fire, flood, ambulance emergency or other sudden crisis. These volunteers work all hours without payment, and dedicate large amounts of personal time to training. The Lifeline Tasmania Emergency Services Award aims to recognise the formal Emergency Services volunteers, but also the ‘informal’ volunteers – the ones who follow after the Emergency Services crews – those who are there through the long recovery phase, to help their neighbour, a friend, or even a stranger get back on their feet
The finalists are:
Damien Almond – St John Ambulance Australia (Tasmania) Inc.
Damien Almond is the Divisional Superintendent of St John Ambulance Tasmania, Launceston. He is the Event Commander for the Falls Festival and is instrumental in planning and executing first aid support for both Falls and Party in the Paddock. These are Tasmania’s flagship music festivals with a combined attendance of over 21,000 people.
Since 2018 Damien has worked to enhance and improve the support delivery of the Party Safe Crew. Damien and his team’s implementation of the St John No Judgement approach have reduced medical centre presentations related to alcohol, drugs, and violence at the festivals, and has been a major contributor to keeping young festival patrons safe.
Damien’s outstanding planning and management skills, and his respectful manner with festival patrons and colleagues are well-recognised within St John. His quiet manner of leadership has grown the number of first aid staff and volunteers from 85 in 2018 to over 165 in 2019.
Kate Gillham – Tasmania Fire Service Campania Fire Brigade
Kate holds several roles in Campania Fire Brigade. She is Second Officer, Training Coordinator, Junior Brigade Coordinator, and during fire season she is District Resource Coordinator, sourcing crews from other local brigades to attend significant fires. Her passion is evident in the number of roles she has volunteered for in the brigade.
Kate has a great passion for educating and informing the community on safety procedures and bushfire preparedness. She is highly respected for her knowledge and her willingness to help educate others. She is the driving force and coordinator of the ‘Bushfire Ready Community’ talks, displays and information sessions. Through Kate’s initiative, attendance at these sessions has grown significantly.
Kate’s key strength is her communication skills. She is committed to providing a great program for the Junior Brigade. Her input, commitment and great rapport with the children are the foundation of the program. Campania Fire Brigade feel fortunate to have such an inspirational leader as Kate.
Robert Jordan – Ambulance Tasmania King Island Volunteers
Robert has been a volunteer Ambulance Tasmania office on King Island for 29 years and the State Emergency Service for 28 years. He is also the Ambulance Tasmania Volunteer Coordinator on King Island, assisting other volunteers, managing rosters, facilitating training and providing the motivation to improve continually.
Robert is there to save lives, provide emergency care, support grieving families and to ensure people are transferred safely to the Air Ambulance Service. He responds to 4 to 5 cases every week for Ambulance Tasmania and on most occasions, he can attend a patient within 6-7 minutes from a 000 call, where he sometimes provides over an hour of patient care.
Robert has modelled exemplary behaviour within the emergency services volunteer environment. Every family on King Island has benefited directly from his care and been inspired by his example. Robert’s face is well-recognised and his service is highly valued in the King Island community.