The hard-work and dedication of a long-term Tom Price volunteer was recognised earlier this month with one of the highest individual State honours in the SES at the 2019 WA Fire and Emergency Services Awards.
Simon Davidson was awarded the Peter Keillor Award for outstanding leadership during a series of complex search and rescue operations in the Pilbara.
Over 12 months, Mr Davidson led teams through highly technical operations, from rescues in gorges at Karijini National Park to land searches in temperatures of 45C-plus.
DFES Pilbara superintendent Peter McCarthy said there was a period early this year where there were 10 incidents near Tom Price.
“There was a protracted land search ... which Simon led and the following day he had to lead his team into Karijini to rescue a tourist who’d drowned,” he said.
“So on top of everything else he does, that was an arduous period which showed amazing leadership.”
Mr Davidson said being a part of the SES in Tom Price for more than a decade has given him some of the best experiences of his life.
“I get to spend time with a brilliant team that has a great culture,” he said.
“We’re a small unit but have a great management group which keeps us on track, plus a diverse team with about 70 per cent women which is amazing.”
Mr McCarthy said having someone long-term who knows the risk is important for the unit.
“He has great local knowledge, he’s involved in the community and his technical and leadership skills are second to none.”