Mid Coast Rural Fire Service (RFS) superintendent, Kam Baker AFSM has been named this year's Australia Day local ambassador.
During the past six months Supt Baker's leadership has been tested as he drove the firefighting efforts across the Mid Coast and beyond.
But, in his true style, Supt Baker has met every obstacle, co-ordinated with understanding and tact and led with compassion, care and tenacity.
MidCoast Council is honoured to have him as ambassador for 2020 as he takes time out from his ongoing efforts to fight the bushfires, to represent his community, mayor, David West said.
"I cannot think of a more deserving, more fitting Australia Day ambassador for the Mid Coast region," Cr West said.
"Kam is a prime example of a true Aussie hero and I know he will accept this accolade on behalf of his entire team and the many volunteers who continue to work tirelessly throughout this bushfire crisis."
During this stressful and difficult time for RFS personnel Supt Baker has been busy driving the local effort as incident controller at the Wauchope control centre since August 2019.
I cannot think of a more deserving, more fitting Australia Day ambassador for the Mid Coast region.David West
Supt Baker joined the RFS as a volunteer me of the Patonga Beach Brigade of the Gosford District in 1979 and worked through the ranks to Group Officer.
He then qualified as a telecommunication technical officer and became a salaried officer in 1993 when he was appointed Gloucester Shire Council fire control officer.
Following the amalgamation of Great Lakes, Gloucester and Manning councils Supt Baker was promoted to MidCoast Rural Fire district manager, a role which covers, Port Macquarie Hastings, MidCoast and Lord Howe Island LGAs.
Supt Baker is a highly respected and decorated RFS officer, specialising in incident command and aerial firefighting operations.
He has been deployed nationally and internationally to assist in numerous firefighting efforts, including leading a full incident management team to Alberta Canada in 2015 to combat fires within the province.
He was awarded the National Medal for Service in 1999, Canberra Emergency Medal in 2003, and the Australian Fire Service Medal in 2007, before being awarded District Manager of the Year in 2016 by the RFS assistant commissioner.
He is a highly respected leader, passionate about protecting and preserving communities, habitat and wildlife and supporting his incredible army of volunteers.
The inaugural region-wide Australia Day civic ceremony will be held alongside the Saltwater Freshwater Festival at Forster Sporting Complex on January 26 from 8.30am.
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