Two officers from the Lithgow Correctional Centre have been recognised at the highest level with the presentation of special bravery awards for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Correctional officers Phillip Poolman and William Spiller who took centre stage after receiving the ultimate accolades for Brave Conduct in the line of duty.
Mr Poolman received a Commissioner's Commendation for his actions on the 23rd of November 2018, where he demonstrated outstanding commitment to duty diffusing a vicious attack.
Mr Spiller received a Directors Commendation for his professionalism and selflessly putting himself in harms way in an event on the 27th of May 2020.
NSW Commissioner Peter Severin awarded the certificates to both officers, making special mention of Officer Poolman's commendation.
"We don't do this very often and in my eight years in Corrective Service NSW we would have only given five of these commendations, and I'm pleased and very proud to be able to provide this recognition and honour," Mr Severin said.
The dedication of the men and women from the facility were also commended at a special awards ceremony to thank them for their efforts during the summer 2019/20 bushfires.
Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections, the Hon Anthony Roberts, Commissioner of Corrective Services NSW Peter Severin, Member of Bathurst Paul Toole and Lithgow Mayor Ray Thompson were present to at the function as a show of thanks with the awarding of 192 certificates of appreciation to staff for their actions during early December when flames threatened the complex.
Mr Toole said the summer bushfires caused by catastrophic weather conditions forced the evacuation of three correctional facilities, including nearby Oberon.
"This impact of the fires resulted in inmates from Oberon being evacuated to correctional centres at Lithgow and Bathurst during this trying period," Mr Toole said.
"Actions in response to the potential threat of the fires engulfing the Lithgow Correctional Centre, and officers service on the front line as volunteers with the NSW Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service are being recognised at today's ceremony."
The 192 awards of The Certification of Appreciation were accepted by the Governor of the Lithgow Correctional Centre Faith Slatcher.
The citation reading states "For outstanding contribution and commitment to ensuring the safety for the NSW community during the 2019/20 Bushfires.
This is in keeping with the finest traditions of Corrective Services NSW."
Mr Toole said the diligence of Lithgow officers deserve credit for their tremendous efforts in the unprecedented events that occurred last summer.
"The responses and actions demonstrated by the staff in this crucial time were unquestionably courageous and well executed," Mr Toole said.
"These individuals are the unsung heroes, and I am privileged to be here today to give my gratitude."
Minister Anthony Roberts also made special remarks to the staff highlighting their professionalism and bravery.
"The events of 2019/20 tested our resilience on a scale that was exceptionally difficult and for this I congratulate every one of you," Minister Roberts said.
At the function, Directors Commendations for Excellence in Duty were awarded to Steve Redman, David Pink, Christopher Elliott and Kirsty Carnegie.
A Certificate of Commission was awarded to Neil Backhouse.