In Fire & Rescue

Queensland Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey

Emergency Service Staff And Volunteers Honoured On Queens Birthday List

Victor P Taffa

Four emergency service staff and volunteers were named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, recognising years of hard work and dedication.

Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said making the list was one of the highest honours.

“Our emergency service staff and volunteers make a huge difference to their communities and I congratulate those who were included in this year’s honours list.” Mr. Dempsey said.

Mr. Dempsey said the recipients will receive the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), the Emergency Service Medal (ESM) or the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM).


“These recipients epitomise the values of professionalism, are committed to protecting the community and are highly respected among their peers.” Mr. Dempsey said.

The AFSM recognises distinguished service by a member of an Australian Fire Service who is seen to have demonstrated a high degree of service and devotion to duty in a particular situation, or in special duties above and beyond normal work responsibilities.

The ESM was introduced in 1999 to give recognition to members of Australian emergency services for distinguished service relating to emergency management, training or education.

The ASM recognises distinguished service by the men and women of Australia’s ambulance organisations.

ASM Recipients:

Nicholas Lentakis
Officer Lentakis commenced his career with the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade in July 1989 as an Ambulance Officer in Brisbane and has held various positions including Paramedic, Clinical Support Officer, Senior Educator, and Senior Clinical Educator. Officer Lantakis has also undertaken the role of Regional Manager Staff Development. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the workplace reform process at both a state and regional level, including an extensive education program, Officer Lentakis was also awarded the Australia Day Achievement Medallion in January 1995. He is currently based in Brisbane.

Richard Galeano
Officer Galeano has a long and distinguished professional ambulance career, commencing with the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade in 1990 in Brisbane. Officer Galeano has held management positions and has also undertaken the roles of Regional Director Operations and Assistant Commissioner, supporting the central office executive of the Queensland Ambulance Service. Following a tragic accident resulting in QAS Flight Paramedic Jamie Jackway being critically injured, Officer Galeano was instrumental in leading the establishment of and participation in the Jamie Jackway Iron Man Events fundraising group and associated fundraising events. Officer Galeano’s initial and ongoing commitment to this endeavour has seen Officer Jackway and his family supported financially and with the necessary equipment and home renovations required following his injury. Officer Galeano’s contribution to these fundraising events cannot be understated. He is currently based in Brisbane.

AFSM Recipient:

Jim Besgrove
Mr Besgrove demonstrated commitment and dedication to the development of the Rangewood Rural Fire Brigade. His leadership, initiative and commitment resulted in rebuilding of the brigade structure and the community service by volunteers to their community. Mr. Besgrove’s outstanding leadership and abilities as Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Commander at emergency incidents and disaster recovery operations across North Queensland is recognised. He is currently based at the Rangewood Rural Fire Brigade.

ESM Recipient:

Gregory Turner
Mr. Turner joined Air Sea Rescue Southport-Surfers Paradise, now Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Southport, in August 1980 and, at the age of 18, was the youngest person to ever be awarded the rank of Skipper within the squadron. Mr. Turner achieved the rank of Skipper in 1983, the Duty Skipper in 1984, and the Senior Skipper in 1988. Mr. Turner also holds a commercial Master Class 4 marine qualification. From 1987 to 1992, Mr. Turner undertook the role of Senior Rescue Coordinator, responsible for the coordination of search and rescue responses. Mr. Turner has participated in many marine rescue incidents and has utilised his extensive seamanship knowledge and experience to participate in the squadron’s vessel replacement programs and associated tendering processes over the last 25 years. He is currently based at Southport.


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