Two members of the Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade were presented with the Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery for their part in the responding to the petrol tanker crash at Mona Vale.

Joshua Denney and Gary Sambridge were presented with their awards by Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott on Monday for their role in the incident on October 1, 2013 which killed two people and injured five others.

The petrol tanker on fire on Mona Vale Rd. Photo by Stuart de Low

The award was part of St Florian’s Day celebrations – who is the patron saint of firefighters.

Also honoured on Monday were 19 other RFS volunteers and 17 units.

Mr Elliott said Mr Denney and Mr Sambridge both faced significant risks when they attended the tanker crash.

“Power lines were down, several vehicles were already on fire and a number of people had already been injured by a flowing fuel fire coming from the overturned tanker,” he said.

“Despite the dangerous environment, these men worked together, attacking the fire with foam to protect the injured, members of public and other emergency service personnel who were under direct threat from the flowing fuel fire.

RFS volunteers Joshua Denney and Gary Sambridge (front) who received bravery medals for their roles when the petrol tanker crashed at Mona Vale. Other units (in background) who attended the incident were also commended.

Mr Denney and Mr Elliot commenced compressed air-breathing apparatus operations and worked from below the tanker, directly attacking the fire.

The pair remained in a position of direct and significant danger for more than 30 minutes while the fire was being contained.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said several recipients received their awards for important behind-the-scenes work, such as planning community engagement strategies..

“The NSW RFS is a team of hard working, professional and dedicated men and women, fulfilling a variety of roles from frontline firefighters to operational and logistical support,” he said.

“It is particularly pleasing to see some of our members who work behind the scenes in roles such as communications and training other ­volunteers.”

“Their role is critical and on St Florian’s Day we recognise the efforts of all of our members and also give thanks to their families.”

Extracted in full from the Daily Telegraph.

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