In May 2001 State Cabinet approved a new State Medal and a Ministerial Commendation for the emergency services. These awards were created to recognise the tireless and extraordinary work of persons contributing to community safety through operational emergency service organisations and associated agencies. The SA Fire & Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) is responsible for administering this award process and making the recommendations to the Minister.
The two awards are as follows:
The SAESM is given to an individual who has demonstrated "distinguished and/or meritorious services of the highest order" in recognition of his or her significant contribution to the emergency services in South Australia. The SAESM award is a full coin Medal set and framed certificate.
The Ministerial Commendation recognises significant effort, bravery or service and is awarded for "meritorious or courageous action". The commendation is a framed certificate and lapel pin.
While it is recognised that most members of Emergency Services deserve recognition for their contributions, these Awards are intended for the few individuals who have gone that "extra mile". Years of service alone is not normally sufficient justification for an Award. Their personal contribution should in some way be considered to be truly extraordinary.
Acts of bravery are also considered for either Award.
All career staff and registered volunteers in the SA Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS), SA Country Fire Service (SACFS), SA State Emergency Service (SASES), SA Ambulance Service (SAAS), Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR), Surf Lifesaving SA (SLSSA) and SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) are eligible.
SAFECOM provides nomination forms and information to Chief Officers for distribution within their Services. Nomination forms are returned to Chief Officers who ensure sufficient information is provided to support nominations and to endorse nominations for the next stage. All nominations are forwarded to the SAFECOM Awards Committee. Members of the SAFECOM Awards Committee include the Commissioner of Fire and Emergencies SAFECOM, SAMFS Chief Officer, SACFS Chief Officer, SASES Chief Officer and the Chief Executive of the SA Ambulance Service. The Committee evaluates all nominations and provides recommendations to the Minister for Emergency Services.
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