IT was not your average day and it wasn't your average request.
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As a bushfire threatened to engulf the Oberon Correctional Centre during the summer just gone, the decision was made to evacuate inmates.
When the call for help came from Corrective Services on December 10, Brian Griffiths and Kim Coleman from Oberon Hire Car and Mini Bus Service swung into action and, along with staff member Jack, brought in two coaches and a 24-seater bus to save the day.
They helped relocate prisoners to jails in Bathurst and Lithgow in a show of community support that has been described as "going above and beyond the call of duty".
In recognition of their efforts, the couple were special guests at a ceremony held at the Oberon Correctional Centre last week.
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They were presented with a plaque to acknowledge their assistance on the day when smoke and embers rained down on the corrections facility.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, NSW Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts, Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin, Oberon mayor Kathy Sajowitz and deputy mayor Mark Kellam and Superintendent Mick Holland from the NSW Rural Fire Service attended the ceremony.
Also recognised on the day were staff from Oberon Correctional Centre, who were lauded for their "professionalism and bravery" and "outstanding contribution and commitment to ensuring the safety of the NSW community during the 2019-20 bushfires".
Mr Toole said the inmates who were evacuated were able to be returned to Shooters Hill two days later after the bushfire danger had passed.
"It was great to be a part of the ceremony for the presentation of the plaque of appreciation by Commissioner Severin," Mr Toole said.
"What Brian, Kim and Jack did to help with the successful evacuation was something special and I think the community deserves to know how they helped out during a most traumatic situation.
"I know Minister Roberts and Commissioner Severin were keen to visit Oberon to offer their thanks, but due to the pandemic, their visit had to be delayed until now."
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