The Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is the official Number 2 Fire Station in NSW.
For Liverpool firefighter Scott Hanley, it is his No.1 priority.
Mr Hanley is the brains behind the 400in4 Charity Bike Ride which has raised more than $650,000 for the Burns Unit.
This year marked the 12th year of the 460 kilometre bike ride from Wagga Wagga to Westmead.
Over the years the ride has assisted buying new equipment, hire extra staff and improve its facilities.
The funds are also used to help the Burns Unit fund a research fellow to undertake trials for different approaches to the treatment of burns and research into the laser treatment of scars.
The ride also promotes fire safety awareness for families and school children in rural areas.
“I’d never ridden a push bike before we did our first one. I just thought the ride would be a good way to support the Burns Unit considering all the great work they do,” he said.
“We have built up a bit of a tradition now and about 30 of us do it every year and it is great to see the community support.
“Aside from promoting the Burns Unit, we promote our winter fire campaign message like the change your clock, change your fire alarm battery campaign. We try to visit schools in remote areas that don’t usually get any visits.”
Mr Hanley’s charity work along with his service to the community as a firefighter for 14 years has been recognised with the Fire & Rescue NSW station officer named as one of 24 finalists for the 2017 Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Awards.
Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said the awards celebrate the outstanding service, sacrifice and spirit of so many quiet achievers who tirelessly work to ensure the safety of others in times of disaster and devastation.
“We should never take for granted the work our emergency services staff and volunteers do and it is important to acknowledge the unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond,” he said.
My Hanley said he was “very honoured” to be named a finalist along with emergency personnel from Marine Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and NSW Volunteer Rescue Association.
“With most of us firefighters, you don’t do the job for any accolades, but it’s always an honour to be recognised,” he said.
“I became a firefighter to help people – and I genuinely want to do that every day.”
He certainly did that as part of the rescue team which saved a family of three from a unit fire in Liverpool in 2011.
“They were trapped behind barred windows and I had to climb the ladder and cut the bars to get them out,” he said.
“It go pretty close to the wire, but lucky we were able to get everyone out. The father was shielding his family and got burned pretty bad because he was copping the full brunt of the heat.
“To help people when they need it the most makes the job worthwhile.”
The winner of the 2017 Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Award will be announced on August 4.
- Details: 400in4.org.