The summer fires of 2019/2020 tested the resilience of the community and especially its volunteer firefighters.
Fifty-four brigades in the Chifley/Lithgow District protected the region on the front-line with some volunteers away for months at a time and others sadly losing their own homes while out protecting someone else's.
In recognition of their hard work 47 National Emergency Medals were presented to Rural Fire Service volunteers on Saturday, May 14.
The National Emergency Medal is reserved only for those who rendered sustained or significant service during nationally significant emergencies in Australia.
Long service medals were also handed out to those with over 80 years of service between four volunteers.
Captain Michelle Swaan received an RFS Long Service Medal for 14 years of service as well as Renae Barron for 12 years of service, both from the Black Springs brigade.
Colin Roberts from Mayfield Brigade was recognised for 27 years of service and Paul Dwyer from Gingkin Brigade for 28 years.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole attended the ceremony to present the medals and congratulate the volunteers.
"It is very rare and special to have such dedicated professionals who frequently give up their own time and livelihoods to help others in times of emergency. You should all be very proud as should your families and communities," Mr Toole said.
"We in the community are so grateful that we could call on you and your courage to battle blazes and protect us."
Black Springs Brigade
Gurnang/Porters Retreat Brigade
Jenolan Caves Brigade
Jerrong/Paling Yards Brigade
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.