Club Cowra

Woodstock's Peter Johnston Named On King's Birthday Honours List

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke opens the Cowra Fire Control Centre, where Peter Johnson is Group Captain.

Woodstock’s Peter Johnston was named on the King’s Birthday Honours List on Monday with an Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

The AFSM recognises distinguished service by a member of an Australian fire service, with Mr Johnston a long time serviceman of the NSW Rural Fire Service. He currently works as the Group Captain of the Cowra Fire Control Centre.

In 1990, Mr Peter Johnstone responded as captain of the local brigade and become the incident controller to a major bush and grass fire in Cowra Shire. Under his management, it was controlled within two days and contained to just over 6,000 hectares.

The Shiel fire of 2013 was a running grass and scrub fire. Mr Johnstone responded to this fire as the incident controller. This incident was extinguished without loss of structures, stock or life on the same afternoon, and was contained to approximately 434 hectares.

Mr Johnstone continues to respond to many emergency incidents across the district supporting and leading the volunteer members in attendance. He is a mentor to many and focuses his energy and stewardship on supporting the next generation of NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) volunteer leadership. He also provides district management with sound rural advice, as required.

Mr Johnstone remains group captain of the Cowra Fire Control Centre and attends Bush Fire Management Committee meetings, and Liaison and Senior Management Team meetings to assist with managing the Canobolas Zone, voice volunteer concerns and share knowledge. Mr Johnstone has been involved with and given feedback on brigade station builds, vehicle placement, and zone asset and infrastructure upgrades to the betterment of the Cowra Local Government Area, the NSWRFS and the Canobolas Zone.

During the 2019/20 fire season, Mr Johnstone called on members from the Walli community to protect neighbouring districts of Chifley Lithgow and Cudgegong from the Gospers Mountain fire. Brigade members fed stock on drought-ravaged properties and Mr Johnstone arranged and participated in out-of-area 24-hour strike teams to protect these and other nearby communities.

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