A career of 42 years with Forest Fire Management Victoria has seen Heathcote's Pat McCarthy awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Mr McCarthy began his career in Heathcote in 1976 and now supervises both the Heathcote and Rushworth depots as a forest fire management officer.
Mr McCarthy is described as a highly experienced and knowledgeable fire ground leader who is held in high regard by his colleagues and members of the wider community, including other emergency services.
His leadership skills have led to his position as an operations officer at multiple fires and in 2017 he was part of an Australian and New Zealand deployment to the United States, to help battle forest fires in northern California.
Mr McCarthy has also worked as a trainer and assessor for the agency.
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