NHILL State Emergency Services volunteer Des Smith believes more people should step up and help their community.
Mr Smith will receive an Order of Australia Medal on Monday for his work with emergency services.
He has been an SES volunteer since 1987, which includes being the Nhill unit controller since 1991 and the Dimboola unit controller since 2014.
He has volunteered with the Country Fire Authority for almost 30 years and he was also on the organising committee for the Grampians annual general rescue weekend for about 10 years.
Mr Smith said he enjoyed helping the community and volunteering in his town.
“I like the social side of it and being able to help others,” he said.
Mr Smith said he was originally asked to join the SES by another member.
“I went along to have a look and it seemed to stick,” he said. He has now been with the group for 30 years.
“Volunteering with these groups can be a rocky road sometimes,” he said.
“There are a lot of ups and downs, but we always try to achieve our best.
“Through these groups I’ve made some great friendships from all over the state and interstate.
“It’s great to work in partnership with other groups and volunteers.”
Mr Smith said he would encourage other people to volunteer for emergency services in their community.
He has received numerous accolades over the years for his work with the SES, including a life member medal, a national medal in 2007 and an emergency recovery award in 2013.
Mr Smith said he intended to continue his volunteer work. “I’m pretty well committed now – I can see myself staying on for a few more years,” he said.
Mr Smith said when he found out he was nominated for an Order of Australia medal, he was shocked.
“I was also very proud,” he said. ”There are a lot of other people that could be awarded this, but someone decided to throw my name into the hat.
“I’m yet to find out who that was.”
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