Australia Day Awards
David Ryan - 2021 Hawkesbury Citizen of the Year
David joined the New South Wales Rural Fire Service at the age of 12 in 1972 with Kangarubi (KANG-A-RUBY) Rural Fire Brigade. David later moved to the Hawkesbury and joined Grose Vale Rural Fire Brigade before moving to Hawkesbury Headquarter Rural Fire Brigade in Wilberforce. From here David assisted in moving the brigade and obtaining land on Thorley Street South Windsor where they built the headquarters station. David worked hard with people of the community building relations and further developing the skills of new and existing members. David created a second family for many members of the community and became Captain in the 1990s.
In 2000 David became a deputy group captain in the Hawkesbury. His leadership as a deputy group captain allowed him to assist and lead the team into many scary campaigns. David has been on many campaign fires and natural disasters including the 1986, 1994, 2001 black Christmas fires, 2003 Canberra fires, 2009 Victoria fires where he was one of the first set of New South Wales “boots on the ground”. He also spent weeks on end during the 2013 Blue Mountains and Bligh Park fires and most recently the Gospers Mountain fire and local floods.
Throughout the Gospers mountain bushfire, David’s bravery and leadership were truly inspiring. On the 12 of November 2019 during a cataphoric day David lead a team to safety along with two other group officers after being entrapped in a burn over at Elium (E-lim) Heights where the fire front came roaring out with flame heights of 60 meters and wind gusts high enough to rip metal sheets off tin buildings and throw them towards the team. David’s decision to stage the team in Elium (E-lim) Heights allowed every crew member to be able to return home safely.
David’s hard work and logistical management was also shown at Bilpin during December 2019 when large amounts of strike teams of trucks where sent. He tasked trucks to different properties and despite losing some structures, the team saved many more. On December 15th, 2019 David assisted crews from Headquarter 9 in the extraction of a male man having a heart attack on his property during the fire.
In David’s 48 years of service he has achieved the national bravery award and long service award. David’s greatest achievement’s is the inspiration he has shown his children and grandchildren. David has gained great respect within the community by sacrificing and giving everything he can to others.
Here is a video of past Australia Day award winners from the last 3 years reflecting, respecting and celebrating the Hawkesbury.
Do you know someone as worthy as David Ryan to be the 2022 Hawkesbury Citizen of the Year.
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