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L-R Recipients of the RFS National Medals were Group Officer Douglas (Blair) Spalding for 21 years of service and John Page for 45 years of service. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Two RFS award recipients

Group Officer Douglas (Blair) Spalding

National Medal – Years of Service: 21        

Douglas (Blair) Spalding joined the Lanitza/Kungala Brigade in 1998.

Blair currently holds the position of Group Officer, is a dedicated member of the Clarence Valley training team and was a former staff member of the Clarence Valley Fire Control Centre.

He has been a driving force behind the Lanitza/Kungala Brigade over many years and has been instrumental in helping keep this small, remote brigade viable.

Blair has served in the positions of Group Captain since 2013 and Deputy Group Captain from 2010 to 2013. Blair was the Lanitza/Kungala Brigade Captain from 2006 to 2010 and Deputy Captain from 2003 to 2006.

Blair is well known and respected throughout the District for his depth of knowledge, his generosity in mentoring and assisting others and his sense of humour and sharp wit. Blair has an exceptional ability to communicate and relate to people from all walks of life and bring crews together.

He has been active throughout multiple fire incidents both within and outside of the Clarence Valley District, spanning many years. More recently, Blair was active in the Divisional Commander role at the 2019/2020 Clarence Valley Section 44 on the Liberation Trail, Bald Knob, Myall Creek and Colletts Crossing fires as well as out of area at the Eurobodalla & Bega Section 44 in Southern NSW.

Blair is one of the most dedicated trainers in the Clarence Valley and has dedicated much of his time to training and assessing multiple training courses, mentoring members and also helping members hone their skills at the district exercise days and at hazard reductions.

Blair has previously received the Long Service Medal and the 20-year Long Service Clasp.

Blair Spalding is a worthy recipient of the National Medal for 21-years of diligent service.




Group Officer John Page

National Medal, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Clasps – Years of Service: 45      

John Page received the National Medal 1st, 2nd and 3rd Clasps for 45 years of service.

John joined the Coaldale Brigade in 1973.

In 2001, John was appointed to the Field Officer position of Captain, a position he held for nine years. John’s dedication, knowledge and skills in relation to firefighting were then recognised by his appointment in 2010 to the position of Group Captain, a position that John still holds today.

John is known as a trusted leader and quiet achiever who makes good judgement calls under pressure and shows reliability and commitment, attending many fire callouts in the Clarence Valley over many years.

He has demonstrated a committed approach to membership of the RFS and has been heavily involved in mentoring and training of other Brigade members. This has been particularly difficult in the remote rural areas under John’s command however his perseverance and patience has seen many Brigades in his Group area step up and participate in current training pathways.

John has also previously held the roles of Brigade President, Permit Officer, First Aid Officer and RFSA representative.

John was previously awarded the 25-year Long Service Award, the 10-year Long Service Medal and the 20, 30 and 40-year, Long Service Clasps.

John Page is a worthy recipient of the National Medal and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Clasps for 45 years of diligent service.