Top award for Horsham fire captain 

Horsham fire-fighter Graham Hill has received one of 30 National Emergency Medals for his efforts during the Black Saturday bushfires.

The new medal in the Australian Honours system recognises services to others during a nationally-significant emergency.

Mr Hill, who was the Horsham Fire Brigade captain during the 2009 fires, said he was one of 1200 people nominated for the award.

He said he was unsure who nominated him or why he was selected.

"It's nice to get recognised but there are a lot of other people who deserve it more,'' he said.

Mr Hill said during the Black Saturday fires in the Wimmera he organised first-response crews and co-ordinated them.

He is now the Horsham Fire Brigade communications officer and group training officer.

Mr Hill said others recognised included those who helped during floods in Queensland and New South Wales.

He said he attended a presentation at Whittlesea Fire Station with his wife Katrina and CFA District 17 operations manager Dale Russell to receive his medal.

Other Wimmera people were nominated for the medal but Mr Hill was the only one to receive recognition.

Mr Hill said he was humbled by the accolade.

"It's nice to be honoured and I think it's fantastic,'' he said. "But there are other people who did just as much, if not more.''

Country Fire Authority chairman Kerry Murphy presented the medal, along with chief officer Euan Ferguson.

Mr Murphy said more than 19,000 members were involved in frontline fire-fighting, incident management and support behind the scenes during the 2009 fires.

"While most CFA members who receive awards such as this feel as though they were just doing their job, it is fair to say, particularly in the context of the 2009 bushfires, they did so under extremely difficult conditions and performed above and beyond their call of duty,'' he said.

"I would like to thank each and every one of our members who provided services during these fires and to all of you who continue to selflessly and tirelessly serve your communities.''

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