The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACTESA) A/g Commissioner Mark Brown today paid tribute to prominent Tharwa resident Val Jeffery AFSM who passed away yesterday aged 82.
"Mr Jeffery was a passionate advocate for bushfire protection in the ACT having served the community in various capacities for over six decades including as a long time members of the ACT Rural Fire Service," Mr Brown said.
"His formal commitment to protecting his community from bushfires, through Brigade membership, began in 1953," he said.
"Throughout this period, Mr Jeffery undertook key leadership roles, both in the local brigade, and at a Territory level. All of his fire-fighting contributions have been made as a volunteer.
"Mr Jeffery served in various senior roles with the ACT Bushfire Council, ACT Bushfire Service and ACTRFS Southern Brigade from the early 1970's until 2012.He was routinely re-elected to, unopposed, to positions such as Chairperson and Captain because he was held in exceptionally high regard.
"In addition to undertaking the usual key responsibilities associated with this role, he always ensured that local landholders and townspeople were competent to protect their own properties from fire. He also ensured that they are kept fully informed about likely dangerous fire days."
Val Jeffery was awarded the National Medal, (recognising 15 years of meritorious service) and 3 clasps to the medal, in recognition of an additional 30 years of continuous service. He was awarded an Australian Fire Service Medal in 1994 and an ACTRFS Long Service Medal in 2014 for 60 years service.
"On behalf of the ACT Rural Fire Service and the wider ESA I offer our sincere condolences to the Jeffery family on Val's passing," Mr Brown said.