contact us
Go to content
Emergency Services Community Awards

The Emergency Service Community  Awards are designed to  recognise our  emergency service personnel who have reflected the Rotary motto of  “Service  above Self”

Select Your State or Region below for further information
Rotary  Emergency Services Community Awards (RESCA) ask the Community to help us recognise outstanding Community  Service performed by paid and volunteer members of Emergency Service  Agencies through the Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards (RESCA)

Rotary is seeking the unsung heroes in your communities that are  often the quiet achievers, never asking for recognition but making a  significant difference in your community.

Emergency Service Personnel can be nominated by colleague, family and any members of the community.  Panels of independent judges will then assess nominees on three (3) key criteria:

  • Community service over and above the call of normal duties which best exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self (i.e. community involvement when they are not working in their normal roles).
  • Personal attributes
  • Contribution to their organisation

Nominations when open are submitted by selecting the nomination button below

Emergency Services



Current Winners
2023 winners

Photos from 2023 ceremony at Government House Canberra - click here
 Winner paid capacity
Erin Pogmore - NSW Fire & Rescue
There is nothing that brings home the trauma of disaster than the rescuer becoming a victim. Last year, Erin, a Leading Firefighter and water rescue instructor with Fire & Rescue, was fighting a fire last year when her own home burnt down.
Now with 19 years of service with SES and 11 as a firefighter, Erin dealt with her catastrophe the best way she could and turned up the very next day for duty. Working from Sydney, she has been active across the state in a training capacity, including work with the Water Rescue Team, drawing as necessary on her 19 years of experience as a Swiftwater Rescue Technician.
Following recent disasters, Erin conceived a First Responders Resilience Program and gained government to develop it. Erin has mentored rescue trainees on shift to assist in their accreditation and is a current board member of the Women in Firefighting Australasia.
She is the first and only Australian to receive Higgins & Langley Special Commendation for development of training and safety towards rescuers and was a guest at the Helicopter Association International in Texas, USA on aviation safety for emergency responders. She also a winner of the Rotary Rural Inspirational Women’s Award and Mental Health Foundation Australia.

 Winner - Volunteer capacity
Graham John Symons - Vic Country Fire Authority
Graham's lifelong dedication to his local community is exceptional and spans various roles including Omeo Fire Brigade member for over 40years and Captain for over 10 years, as well as an Ambulance Victoria Community Officer for 33 years. Graham is on the committees for the Omeo Recreation Reserve, Omeo & District Agricultural & Pastoral Society, Omeo Shire Lions Club, RSL organiser for Remembrance services for 10+ years, CFA Group Officer and Omeo Fire Brigade Group delegate and the Livingstone Park Development Committee for 10 years Graham's proactive fire preparedness, establishment of community resources, mentoring, and consistent availability demonstrate his indispensability. His support during the 2019-20 fires and respected role in community meetings highlight his deep impact. Graham's unwavering commitment embodies true responsibility and care, making a lasting difference in his community
Australian Rotary Health

PhD Research Scholarship into Mental Health in Emergency Services Workers
Emergency Service officers are regularly exposed to traumatic  events, which they can repeatedly re-experience through nightmares or  flashbacks. It is estimated that 10 per cent of current emergency  service workers have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The first set of national guidelines for the treatment and diagnosis  of PTSD in frontline emergency service workers was recently released by a  group of Australian clinicians and researchers. The guidelines explore  how to treat PTSD in emergency workers and reduce symptoms, as well as  the best ways to ensure the person can be transitioned back to work.
To complement these initiatives, Australian Rotary Health has  announced it will be co-funding with Rotary Districts (funding  provided by RESCA), a Funding Partner PhD Scholarship for research into  mental health in emergency services.
Further  research will look at in-depth ways to alleviate the mental health burden on our emergency services.
Latest information on PhD sholarship can be found here
More information about Australian Rotary Health

PO Box 3455
Parramatta, NSW 2124
Phone:   02 8837 1900
Contact us

If you need further information regarding the National Emergency Services Awards please fill in the contact form - For further information on specific states please select the state at top of page

Back to content