Black Saturday volunteers honoured for bravery

Black Saturday volunteers honoured for bravery

17 February 2012

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Australia — Victorian Governor Alex Chernov will present bravery awards to 90 people today inclouding two State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers who worked on Black Saturday.

The Royal Humane Society of Australasia will recognise people who have risked their lives, while attempting to save others.

Sixty of this year’s recipients showed exceptional bravery during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

Kinglake SES volunteer Desmond Deas has been awarded a silver medal for driving through flames looking for people stranded in the fire.

Mr Deas says it will not be his award alone.

“I could give you dozens of names of people as worthy, who could go up without any problems and get an award as well,” he said.

“So I’m going to receive the award, but I’m going to be receiving it on behalf of many many people in our community.”

Another SES volunteer, Ascher Derwent defied the flames to move vehicles so tankers could hose down a refuge centre.

Mr Derwent refuses to be called a hero.

“It’s nice to be recognised and I appreciate being recognised,” he said.

“But there are a hell of a lot of people who did amazing things on that day and I just played my small part to be honest.”

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