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Newfoundland and Labrador forest firefighters recognized for service in Australia

May 11, 2021 
By FFIC Staff

May 11, 2021, N.L. – Four forest firefighting personnel from Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture have been awarded the New South Wales Premier’s Bushfire Emergency Citation for their efforts in battling unprecedented bushfires in Australia during 2019 and 2020.

The recipients include:

  • Mark Lawlor, supervisor of industry services, Corner Brook
  • Matthew Wells, conservation officer, Lewisporte
  • Darren Jennings, ecosystem management ecologist, Happy Valley-Goose Bay
  • Joe Russell, wildland fire training specialist (retired), Corner Brook

Each individual answered the call for help from Australian authorities by volunteering to join a team of professionals from other parts of Canada, where they were strategically deployed throughout New South Wales. They performed a variety of duties, including assisting with incident management command, aviation, planning, logistics and operations.

The awards were established in September 2020 by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian for the thousands of volunteers and emergency services personnel who put their safety on the line to protect lives and properties.


The New South Wales Bushfire Emergency Citation is a meaningful commemoration that expresses gratitude, while symbolizing camaraderie and teamwork during challenging times. The citation recognizes those who served both on the front line and behind the scenes.

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