Queen's Birthday Honour: AFSM, Greg Ingersole

HONOURED: Eglinton Rural Fire Brigade firefighter Greg Ingersole received an Australian Fire Service Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours. He is pictured in the brigade's 1930 Dennis fire engine. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 061118cgreg1
HONOURED: Eglinton Rural Fire Brigade firefighter Greg Ingersole received an Australian Fire Service Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours. He is pictured in the brigade's 1930 Dennis fire engine. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 061118cgreg1

NOW that you’ve got a bit of land you need to join the NSW Rural Fire Service.

These words of advice were give to Greg Ingersole not long after he purchased his Mount Rankin property and 44 years later he is yet to find a reason to leave.

Firefighter Ingersole made a commitment to serve and protect his community in 1977 and on Monday he was among fire crews from across the country to receive a Queen’s Birthday Honour.

The Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) he received recognises distinguished service by members of the country’s fire services. It is awarded to paid and volunteer members.

Mr Ingersole has spent his entire firefighting career with Eglinton Rural Fire Brigade and has seen the village and station change rapidly during the past 44 years.

“Back then we had no station and no trucks. It was just from the back of farm utes or trucks,” he said of the brigade’s early firefighting methods.

I’m only one person in a big machine, I couldn’t of got this on my own

Firefighter Greg Ingersole

Since he joined Eglinton brigade he has fulfilled numerous roles including: regional group officer, chainsaw operator, instructor/assessor and fire investigator.

Mr Ingersole also held the position of Senior Deputy Captain for many years and is currently the training and equipment officer for the Eglinton Brigade.

During his 44 years with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) he has attended countless local emergencies as well as those across the state.

Mr Ingersole said there are many reasons he has given so much time and so many years to the RFS.

“It’s the camaraderie and this brigade is the social hub of Eglinton,” he said.

“We decided we wanted to do this and look after our residents.”

Training up-and-coming firefighters is also of huge importance to Mr Ingersole, and he said a bushfire at Grays Point in the Sutherland Shire in 1983 changed RFS training forever.

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Three volunteer firefighters were killed and six were left critically injured with horrific burns.

“They [RFS] came up with a training program and I was the first trainer here for the RFS and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.

Mr Ingersole said he was “in a little bit of shock” at finding out he had received an AFSM.

“I’m only one person in a big machine, I couldn’t of got this on my own,” he said.

Bathurst’s other Queen’s Birthday Honours