Two emergency service veterans with wide experience in the North East are named on the Queen's Birthday honours list.
Country Fire Authority Deputy Chief Officer Garry Cook, of Wangaratta, received an Australian Fire Service Medal while Superintendent Paul O'Halloran, who was stationed in the region between 2013 and 2017, was awarded the Australian Police Medal.
Mr Cook followed his family's lead in joining Edi Fire Brigade aged 16 in 1981 and then became part of the CFA's permanent ranks five years later.
After stints in south-west Victoria and headquarters he was appointed operations manager of district 23 in 1995, where he helped establish Mount Buller Fire Brigade and responded to the 2002/03 alpine fires.
In 2005 he led the Integrated Fire Management Planning Project, which laid foundations for programs like Safer Together.
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During seven years with Ambulance Victoria (2007-2014), Mr Cook continued to volunteer with Tarrawingee Fire Brigade.
He is now Deputy Chief Officer Specialist Services, responsible for areas including operational communications, specialist response, structural fire planning, fire investigation and marine and technical rescue.
"Most of my working life has been spent in the emergency services and no matter what role I have held, my goal has always been to help people do their work as safely and efficiently as possible so they can go home to their families and loved ones," Mr Cook said.
"I will always be grateful to my family who have made plenty of sacrifices while I was either on deployments or living away from home."
Superintendent O'Halloran, a Victoria Police member for 37 years, arrived in the North East on January 1, 2013, after working in crime command, homicide, sexual crime squad and a drugs taskforce.
The investigations he oversaw included finding the murderers of Wangaratta girl Zoe Buttigieg and Whorouly's Karen Chetcuti as well as the hunt for father and son duo on the run, Gino and Mark Stocco.
Victoria Police said Superintendent O'Halloran, now of crime command, had served in both metropolitan and rural settings and led numerous high-profile homicide investigations.
"His efforts have seen him recognised multiple times throughout his career, including for his involvement in the investigation of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires," police said.
OTHER HONOURS RECIPIENTS:
- Former mayor joins predecessor as OAM recipient
- Bushfire recovery and environmental education honoured
- Jet pilot, cricket servant, Indigenous leader saluted
- Pottery nous results in gong for community service
- Nurses' endeavours across Albury and Africa get kudos
- Love of Myrtleford, Yarrawonga reflected in retiree's gongs
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