Recognising a long-serving firefighter in Daniel Poss and a presentation for formal appreciation of businesses that employ Gunnedah shire’s retained firefighters were made substantially more special with the presence of the Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner.

Station 314 Gunnedah hosted Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner, Jeremy Fewtrell AFSM, assistant commissioner Cheryl Steer and superintendent Tom Cooper on Saturday, February 4.

Captain David Welch thanked the businesses which allowed the firefighters to respond to emergencies with no guarantee of time back at work.

“We could be gone for half an hour, we could be gone for a week,” he said.

He was appreciative of the Commissioner travelling to Gunnedah on his day off to recognise those businesses and Daniel.

“I don’t know how many stations and personnel [the Commissioner] looks after,” he said.

“We are very lucky.”

The Commissioner recognised the awards on his Facebook page along with Daniel’s milestone.

“FRNSW benefits from having a crew with a diverse range of professional experience and skills. The employers benefit by employing retained firefighters as these staff are highly capable, calm under pressure, good team members, know how to safely manage risks and are committed to their communities,” the post read.

“I also had the chance to present firefighter Daniel Poss with his 20 year clasp to his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, recognising him for his service and thanking his family for their support of him.”

“We have got a lot of longevity in our station,” David said.

“It was a really special moment, I think [Daniel] appreciated it very much.

“He does an excellent job, he is a vital member [to the station].”

After 20 years with the service, the engine keeper can now add the 20 years of service clasp to his collection which includes a 10-year and 15-year medal.

“Dave gave me a bit of a surprise. It was only meant to be an employer recognition ceremony on Saturday,” Daniel said.

“He threw that in for a pretty good surprise – he got me good.

“I am really grateful for that.”

“Probably the quickest recognition too,” he said.

He told the Gunnedah Times that long service medals do not always come in a timely fashion but luckily for Daniel he received his most recent from the Commissioner only a few days after the milestone.

Daniel’s career with the Fire and Rescue service started in 2004 at Uralla but his hometown fire station was ingrained into memories well before adulthood.

While growing up in Uralla, his uncle was in the fire brigade and as a child he “kicked around the station with him”.

“They had a lot of social gatherings and parties and whatnot back in the day and as soon as I was 18, I joined,” he said.

He looks back on that time and how it progressed to 20 years of service and said he “would not have it any other way”.

“It is very rewarding and you can have your rough times too, of course, but the good times outweigh the bad,” he said.

He moved to Gunnedah in 2012 and has been with the crew there since.

Simply being with mates has been a major highlight of involvement with Fire and Rescue NSW.

“[I] pretty much call them brothers and sisters these days because we are pretty tight knit and close, [we] look out for each other,” he said.

A little closer in relation is his home family, which he mentioned were integral supporters during his time in the service.

“They have been incredible, the wife and kids, they are so good,” he said.

“What they sacrificed for the brigade as well and some of the stuff they had to attend without me.”

Wife Jess and daughter Kayla Poss had been at the station before his recent medal presentation which raised the curiosity for Daniel.

“Dave sort of rushed to hunt them away for a little while and it was probably about 10-15 minutes later they came back,” he said.

“That was sort of when I realised something was going to go down.”

The Commissioner had also previously been in Gunnedah for David Moses’ farewell and Daniel recognised it was an honour to have him there.

“For him to take the time to come out to our station and do the employer recognition day and that little surprise they gave me made it unreal,” he said.

“Not many people get that opportunity where they get the Commissioner to come out to these ceremonies.

“That is probably the highlight actually, for him to come out and present that to me.

“For him to come to the station and meet and greet the family and the kids, it was pretty cool.”

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