Long-serving SES man Gibbons is a finalist for a state award

DESERVING: Oberon State Emergency Service commander Craig Gibbons has been announced as a finalist in the Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards.

DESERVING: Oberon State Emergency Service commander Craig Gibbons has been announced as a finalist in the Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards.

OBERON SES unit commander Craig Gibbons is in the running for a prestigious statewide award.

Mr Gibbons, a local electrician, has been named as a finalist in the 28 Rotary Districts of NSW Emergency Services Community Awards (RESCA), whose winners will be announced at the end of October.

The finalists were named by Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott.

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In his nomination, Mr Gibbons is described as serving as an SES unit commander in an area with long stretches of road, heavy traffic, caves and weather cold enough to produce snow.

DEDICATED: Oberon SES commander Craig Gibbons assists NSW Ambulance paramedics with a patient call-out.

DEDICATED: Oberon SES commander Craig Gibbons assists NSW Ambulance paramedics with a patient call-out.

"When people get into trouble, Craig, who joined the NSW SES at the age of 17 and has served for more than 26 years, has done many rescues," the nomination says.

"He has abseiled 150 metres down a cliff, rescued a group of soldiers lost in fog, cut people out of vehicles and cleared fallen logs from roads.

"Willing to use his electrical skills for the public good, and also a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service, he trains and assesses fellow rescue and fire volunteers.

"Craig is a recipient of the National Medal and Clasp 1 and NSW SES 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 Year Long Service Award and the NSW Rural Fire Service 10 Year Long Service Award and Clasp."

Mr Elliott said the awards are a chance to highlight emergency services work.

"The past year has been an exceptionally challenging one for our community, and this is an appropriate time to pause, reflect and congratulate the individual emergency services for the service that they have provided," Mr Elliott said.

Finalists are drawn from Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service, the NSW State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Ambulance, and the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association. Winners for each service, plus two special overall winners, and the young volunteer will be announced at an awards presentation on Friday, October 30, 2020.

The overall winners for NSW will then represent the state at the National Awards on November 23, hosted by joint patrons, Governor-General David Hurley and Linda Hurley.