30 November 2023

Three new faces bolster Temora fire station ranks

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Inspector Chad Kennis, Elliot Mendick, MP Steph Cooke, Lachlan Girling-Butler,Superintendent Steve Evans, and Derek Hingerty

Inspector Chad Kennis, Elliot Mendick, MP Steph Cooke, Derek Hingerty, Superintendent Steve Evans, and Lachlan Girling-Butler. Photo: Temora Fire and Rescue NSW.

Temora Fire Station has welcomed three new firefighter recruits to its ranks after several recent retirements within the unit.

Derek Hingerty, Elliot Mendick, and Lachlan Girling-Butler joined the Fire and Rescue NSW ranks after completing their mandatory training.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke, Superintendent Steve Evans, Inspector Chad Kennis, other Temora firefighters and their families welcomed the recruits at a special presentation on 11 November.

Elliot joined Fire and Rescue NSW to engage in community service.

“I’m new to the community, and I wanted to give back in some way, shape or form,” he said.

“The experience so far has been awesome. Everyone looks up to you. The camaraderie is great, and it’s a motivation to keep fit.

“It is also a great way to meet new people.”

Born and raised in Tumut, Elliot completed high school in Canberra before moving to Sydney to pursue his science degree in marine biology. He has lived in Brisbane, the Middle East, Sydney, and Canberra, where he had his children, and he moved to Temora.

When he isn’t a firefighter tending to his community, Elliot is a procurement manager for Airservices Australia.

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One of the biggest reasons for Derek to join Fire and Rescue was his brother.

“My brother joined a couple of years before me and gave me an idea of what they do and the good in the community,” Derek said. “So I thought I’d give it a crack.”

“I’m absolutely loving it [the experience], and the skill set I’ve learned already is amazing.

“The thrill of getting a call is great, and knowing that I’m helping someone along the way tops it off.”

Derek hopes to expand his knowledge as much as possible and believes the more he learns, the better.

Born and raised in Temora, Derek is an agricultural mechanic with the Temora Truck and Tractor.

Lachlan decided to join Fire and Rescue after hearing from his friend how much he enjoyed his experience and finding out there was space available for a recruit.

“The experience has been great so far. I’ve already learned a lot, and our crew at the station are great and very knowledgeable,” Lachlan said.

“I’m not necessarily looking to get anything out of it. I joined because I’m new to town and thought this would be a good way to be involved within the community.”

The self-employed builder was born and raised in Sydney, moved to the region after marrying his wife from Temora, and they have an 18-month-old daughter.

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Temora Fire and Rescue Captain Mark Cooper is delighted to have three new firefighters at the station.

“All three firefighters bring outstanding qualities to the role and represent what Fire and Rescue NSW are known for and very proud of: delivering a professional and committed service to their community,” Captain Cooper said.

“Elliot, Derek and Lachie have been trained at our training facilities to a very high standard and are equipped with the best knowledge, training and equipment to deliver a professional service to the Temora community and the state of NSW.

“We welcome them to our station.”

Along with welcoming the recruits, Temora Fire and Rescue presented firefighter Josh Hale with his 10-year long-service and good conduct medal, having contributed much of his brigade work to the Temora community and the rest of the state in times of need.

Ms Cooke welcomed the recruits with the Temora Fire and Rescue team.

“I visited just a few months ago when Elliot, Derek and Lachlan were going through the recruitment process, so it’s wonderful to be here today to congratulate them on their efforts and help officially welcome them to the team,” she said.

“On behalf of the entire community, I would like to formally express our appreciation to them for stepping up and joining this incredible team, following in the footsteps of the many firefighters who have served our community.

“Temora captain Mark Cooper is a top bloke who leads with determination, compassion, commitment, integrity and humour; it’s no surprise that the brigade will reach full strength in a short while.”

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