A LONG-serving State Emergency Service unit controller at Yarrawonga reckons he shares his award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with his unit members.
Des O’Meara, 62, received the Emergency Services Medal for providing exceptional leadership during response and recovery operations, as well as building relationships between other agencies and community organisations.
Mr O’Meara joined the Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) as a volunteer with the Yarrawonga Unit in 1988.
In 1993 he was appointed unit controller, serving with distinction until early this year.
“It’s a privilege to get an honour like this,” he said.
“I am chuffed people believe I am worthy of this award.
“You don’t do it to get awards, you do it to help people.
“It’s a whole team effort and I share this award with all of my unit members.”
Mr O’Meara has demonstrated his outstanding leadership skills over a range of operational activities throughout his distinguished SES car-eer, including response and recovery operations and assisting the community in protecting properties.
Mr O’Meara has personally attended and led road crash rescues, often in challenging and traumatic conditions.
He has worked tirelessly over extended periods in adverse conditions, including the 2012 floods in the North East and last year’s tornado that devastated areas along the Murray River.
Mr O’Meara said the time had come to wind down.
“I stood down as unit controller in January as I want to take a back step soon,” he said.
“It’s time to start slowing down and showing others the way.”