Bornholm volunteer firefighter Ted Rastrick has been honoured for his innovation and dedicated service to volunteer firefighting in the Albany region.
Mr Rastrick, who has served with the Bornholm Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade since 2003, received theMurray Lang Bush Fire Service of WA Award at a ceremony in Perth on Saturday night.
One of his most significant contributions was compiling a series of detailed maps covering the City of Albany’s 16 brigade areas.
“I used to be a geography teacher, so I was quite happy working with maps,” Mr Rastrick said.
“For years, we complained we never had any good maps of the areas and I thought well, we ought to make up some aerial photos of the districts the brigades have to deal with.
“I worked with the IT guy in the City of Albany, who gave me the air photos as a base, and we made up a booklet for each of the 16 brigades in the Albany city area.
“They’re much more useful than the ordinary maps showing where roads and things are.”
Mr Rastrick also created a website, which allowed residents to check the status of permits around the region.
But in the past 12 months, he has focused on pushing the Bushfire Ready message, urging communities to do everything they can to be ready for a bushfire.
A dozen Bushfire Ready groups have been formed around the high bushfire-risk area of Torbay Hill.
“(Bushfire Ready) is a comm-unity-based, self-help concept for getting people aware of what to do in bushfires,” Mr Rastrick said.
“We’ve set up a number of community groups to communicate with each other if there is a fire and to encourage them to set up fire safety precautions, do hazard productions burns.
“We’ve actually got 12 different groups, each with their own street co-ordinator. They get in touch with the people and encourage them to do the right thing.
“We’ve got a communication system for the whole of Torbay Hill. We haven’t got everyone on it yet but we’re hoping to.”
City of Albany fire control officer Laurie Nissen said Mr Rastrick went above and beyond for his community.
“He does a lot above what he’s supposed to do as a volunteer … he puts hours and hours of work in,” he said.
“He’s very humble and he doesn’t think he deserves it but he does an excellent job.”