Winner: Station Officer Barren Bofinger with Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins. Picture: Fire and Rescue NSWCaringbah firefighterDarren Bofinger has received a commendation for courageous action after savingtwo people from wild surf at Merry Beach atKiola.
He was among 35 firefighters recognised with awards for risking their lives to help others both in Australia and overseas.
The off-duty station officer was packing up camping gear onJanuary 29, 2015, when he noticed a couple in distress in the water.
Without hesitation, he grabbed his surfboard from the car and paddled out to them.
While he was helping thewoman, another man on a board arrived to help.
Despite the large swell anda strong rip he managed to bringthe woman back to the beach.
He then went intothe water again to help the two remaining menback to safety.
A number of other local firefighters were recognised with a humanitarian overseas service medal for their deployment to Japan.
Inspector Gary Meagher,Station Officer David Cross,Station Officer Rodney Davis,Station Officer Craig Vincent,Leading Firefighter Michael Packham andSenior Firefighter Pavel Novotny were among 27firefighters to receive the medal.
They were part of a search and rescue deployment sent after theJapan earthquake andtsunami in 2011.
Theyspent a week in Minami Sanrikusearching the wreckagein extremely difficult conditions.
Scott Farlow MLC presented the awards during a special ceremony earlier this week.
“The courage and determination of all those involved cannot be overstated,” he said.
“The presentation was an opportunity to formally acknowledge the actions of those who went above and beyond to help others and I commend them for their bravery, skills and professionalism.”
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