AT the Ararat unit of the State Emergency Service annual dinner a number of awards were presented to dedicated members including long service awards.
Former controller Russell Graham was awarded for 35 years of service with regional manager Mid West Region Stephen Warren presenting him with a 35 year medal, while Steven Stacpoole was awarded his National Medal for 15 years service by Mr Warren.
Margaret Dunmore, Jan Rilloraza and Gwenda Allgood all received their five year certificates.
At the annual awards presentation Steve Stacpoole was also awarded Member of the Year.
Controller Donna Dunmore said Mr Stacpoole is a long serving member who over the last 12 months has assisted with extensive training of the unit's new members in particular.
"He is always available for working bees, and is always a reliable member to assist anyone in need, he is very good at seeing what needs doing and just getting it done," Ms Dunmore said.
Jade Collins was awarded Junior Member of the Year.
"Jade joined the SES in early October last year and since then has thrown himself into training, attended a number of training weekends including the regional training weekend that is held annually in Halls Gap, and is always around to assist with Driver Reviver and PR events when required," Ms Dunmore said.
The SES awarded Recruit of the Year to Tina Collins, who joined with her two sons in October and has since made herself available for most training nights, Driver Reviver, working bees, joined the training committee and completed a Community Educator Facilitation course as well as attending the usual call outs when available.
This year the unit also presented an encouragement award, to new member Frank Connellan.
"Frank has only been a member of our Unit since October. During December he broke his toe while rock climbing and spent three months back at his home in Melbourne," Ms Dunmore said.
"During this time he persisted with what training he could do and attended training sessions in Melbourne that he was able to, and since being back he has worked really hard to be trained up in time to complete his General Rescue and is currently part of our next group to be trained in Vertical Rescue."
Seven members were awarded for completing their General Rescue which is one of the main competencies that members require to be able to proceed with most other more specific courses available.
The members who completed this qualification included Tina Collins, Tameeka Cann, Frank Connellan, David Smith, Jade Collins, Chloe Dunmore and Joel Hughes.
Daniel Benson, Sally Bond and Jan Rilloraza were also recognised for becoming the unit's newly accredited vertical rescue team, trained by Geoff Dunmore.
"We are very lucky in Ararat to have Geoff to teach interested members their Vertical Rescue as there are only three SES instructors in our State, with only five SES units in the State that have a Vertical Rescue team," Ms Dunmore said.
The Ararat unit is also fortunate to have a number of new junior members since the junior age limit was reduced to 15 years.
New members include Tameeka Cann, Jade Collins, Chloe Dunmore, Joel Hughes and Mitch Richards.