Tribute to Lionel Smith

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Speech to Parliament, 15 February 2021

As a community we owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Rural Fire Service, particularly those who have dedicated their life to serving through the RFS. Bruce Linton, of the Kenthurst brigade, recently reminded me about Lionel Smith, who has now given 75 years of his life to the RFS and has served with significant distinction. This makes him one of the longest-serving RFS members in the Hills District, if not in New South Wales.

Lionel began his service with the RFS as a founding member of the Oakville Fire Brigade in 1946. Throughout his illustrious career, Lionel has held the ranks of deputy captain, group captain, deputy fire control officer and fire control officer in the Hills District. Lionel served the community on the Bushfire Council of New South Wales, as a member of the technical committee and radio subcommittee as a technical officer. He was the former chairman of the Fire Control Officers Association of New South Wales. He also developed the foam proportioning system now used on all New South Wales RFS appliances. For his services to the RFS he has achieved the Australian Fire Service medal in 1960, the National Medal, first and second class, and he has received long service awards for 35, 50, 60 and 70 years of service.

Lionel continues to serve as a life member of the Round Corner and Kenthurst brigades, currently serving as deputy captain of the Kenthurst brigade. He continues to be an active and valued member, attending fires and completing training activities and maintenance duties. On behalf of the whole community: thank you, Lionel, for your extraordinary service to the RFS family and to our community more broadly.

To watch my speech, click here:

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