A Forster fire captain’s commitment to leading emergency responses and educating residents about fire safety has been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
A humble Paul Langley said he was surprised and at the same time privileged to receive such a prestigious award.
Paul, who has served with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) for 23 years, including more than 13 years as captain at Forster Fire Station, has been awarded the celebrated Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).
Sixty-year-old Paul said he had been taken aback with the award, considering the number of retained fire officers who had been with the service for many years longer.
Paul paid tribute to the on-going support from the Forster crew, his family and workplace.
“My family has grown up with Fire and Rescue in their lives,” he said.
Paul joined FRNSW Leura in 1981, resigning in 1989 after relocating to Forster.
A keen sportsman, Paul said he joined FRNSW because he saw it as an extension of sport.
“It is a team environment, and every day your are learning something new.”
Since rejoining FRNSW in 1993 he has achieved more than two decades continuous service to the Forster-Tuncurry community.
He was promoted to deputy captain in 1996 and then captain in 2002, and has provided dedicated service in this leadership role for 15 years.
He has maintained high standards of training, developing the skills of his firefighters, as demonstrated in the achievements in the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) road crash rescue extrication competition.
He dedicated many hours to the support and education of community safety and is highly regarded by other emergency services as a leader in the field.
Paul’s demonstrated commitment, dedication, leadership and professionalism have cemented FRNSW as an integral part of the Forster-Tuncurry community.
The mechanical services co-ordinator for MidCoast Council, Paul paid tribute to his Great Lakes workplace and thanked them for allowing him the time to attend to FRNSW duties.
“It is very hard to get an employee who gives you time off.”
He will be presented with his AFSM at a ceremony at Government House later this year.