Keith Driver honoured for exceptional leadership in the RFS for more than 40 years

Keith Driver, awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal, a dedicated Rural Fire Service volunteer for 47 years.

HAVING grown up in the Blue Mountains and witnessed the devastation of burning bush, Keith Driver has taken fires seriously from a young age.

“As a kid I saw fires on ridges, places where there were houses one day and not there the next day,” Keith told News Of The Area.

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Keith has now been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in honour of his work with the Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Being called to serve in the RFS in his teens, he joined the Bullaburra Brigade in 1977.

“I think everyone should do their bit for the community,” he said.

“It’s a lot of hours, but if you’re going to do it, you do it properly.”

He credits his family for supporting his commitment.

Moving to the Coffs Coast District in 1991, he joined Lowanna Brigade and brought with him extensive experience in forest and grassland firefighting.

For more than 40 years, Keith has demonstrated exceptional leadership, commitment and achievement in many areas.

He has been responsible for establishing training programs across brigades and provides positive reinforcement and resolution of issues.

He has held the role of captain, deputy group officer and group officer.

Since 2008, he has been a member of the senior leadership team and remains an operational member of the Lowanna Brigade.

Keith has led chainsaw training duties and is regularly called to use those skills in the district.

He has also undertaken a heavy plant management role during major fires.

He is well known and respected by his peers in the district, with his advice and assistance regularly sought.

Keith frequently volunteers his service above and beyond that expected and is always willing to assist whenever requested.

His style is to lead by example, promoting personal development and teamwork.

Today, he is a leading example to members through his commitment to operational response, community engagement and training.

He has been integral in creating a specialised all-day driver training program along local trails, where different skills are required for different stages and all participants are required to drive part of the distance.

The program became so popular that all brigades in the district are wanting to attend his ‘Tag-a-long’ training day.

The day teaches four-wheel driving skills, provides area familiarisation and promotes teamwork and bonding.

Keith’s devotion to duty, leadership and loyalty and his unselfish performance of duty is clearly evident in all he does.

“I am proud of my service to the RFS and in being recognised I hope it inspires others to join up and commit,” he said.


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