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Marine Rescue NSW members receive Emergency Service Medals in the Queens Birthday Honours

Marine Rescue NSW report:


Congratulations to the three Marine Rescue NSW recipients of the Emergency Services Medal in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. Marine Rescue Newcastle Unit Commander and Training Officer Ron Calman (left) , Marine Rescue Narooma Vessel Master Ross Constable (top right) and Monaro Regional Operations Manager and Marine Rescue Batemans Bay member Glenn Sullivan (lower right) have received the prestigious honour for their commitment to saving lives on the water.

MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos congratulated the three on the national recognition of their distinguished service to the NSW community. “These awards are an opportunity to thank Ron, Ross and Glenn for their years of work and commitment to serving and protecting the boating community,” he said. “Between them, they have given more than 90 years’ service to the people of our state. Our people are our strength and we are proud to have such experienced, skilled and dedicated members in our ranks. “Our volunteers make a valuable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of our community without any expectation of reward or recompense. They deserve our gratitude. “These awards are our chance to say thank you not just to our three recipients but to all their colleagues as well.” Mr Calman OAM has been Unit Commander of MR Newcastle since 2012, having served with distinction for more than six decades as the Captain of the Toowoon Bay Surf Life Saving Club; the founding Commander of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association Swansea flotilla; the Division Commander of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol at Lake Macquarie; and an officer in the NSW Police Marine Area Command. A skilled and respected Rescue Vessel Master, he makes himself available around the clock to respond to emergencies on the water and has personally conducted hundreds of rescue missions, often in dark and dangerous conditions. In July 2019, Mr Calman was the Master of one the two MRNSW vessels responsible for retrieving three people who died when their catamaran capsized in rough seas off the Stockton coast, responding with great care and compassion. As the unit’s Training Officer, he has been committed to ensuring his members receive professional training, resourcing and support for their life-saving roles. He has also worked tirelessly to maintain volunteer morale following the destruction of the Newcastle unit base in severe storms in 2015, persevering to secure a permanent new home. Vessel Master Ross Constable, who joined MR Narooma in 2000, displays the highest levels of professionalism and leadership, not only in his operational role as a rescue vessel Master but also as a member of the unit executive. Mr Constable’s skill and professionalism gives his crew members confidence in his navigational abilities and judgment, even in the most unfavourable of sea and weather conditions. His innovation in training in all aspects of seamanship has seen MR Narooma achieve a notable standard of operational excellence. He has led numerous challenging search and rescue operations in response to traumatic emergencies, including a number of fatalities. His care and compassion for those in need is also extended to his fellow volunteers, instituting effective peer support. Monaro Regional Operations Manager and Marine Rescue Batemans Bay member Glenn Sullivan has made a lasting contribution to the operational capability of MRNSW and the safety of the boating community through his tireless work to assist and support MRNSW volunteers and his commitment to education, as both a volunteer and career officer. Mr Sullivan joined MR Batemans Bay in 2009. In addition to qualifying as a Vessel Master, he gained a training qualification, becoming the unit’s Training Officer. He subsequently was appointed Regional Training Manager for the Illawarra and Monaro regions and is now the Monaro Regional Operations Manager, coordinating rescue operations and resources across the South Coast, Alpine Lakes and Murray River at Moama. Mr Sullivan has led many search and rescue operations, including an extended eight-day operation to locate the wreckage of a plane that ditched off Broulee in 2014, for which he was awarded a Commissioner’s Citation for Service. While guiding training for the new Alpine Lakes unit in 2011, he responded to save the life of a woman who was choking. Mr Sullivan showed strong and empathetic leadership throughout the 2019-20 bushfires, coordinating local deployments and resources to maintain MRNSW operations and assist the emergency response while also supporting volunteers and the community. A generous mentor, Mr Sullivan is driven to help volunteers build their capability, skill and safety.

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