It couldn't have gone to a nicer bloke.
Chris Sharp AFSM was one of eight NSW Rural Fire Service members to be recognised for his commitment to the community as part of the annual Queen's Birthday Honours List for 2020.
He received the NSW RFS Australian Fire Service Medal for his work helping train fire fighters around the Western region.
Due to the coronavirus, Group Captain Sharp, has been unable to receive his medal but now with restrictions eased, he will be able to go to a small ceremony.
"I didn't join to get medals, but it does feel nice to have your hard work recognised," he said.
"I was a bit shocked to receive this award, but I do a fair bit of training."
On average, Group Captain Sharp, puts in 500 hours a year training volunteers to be prepared for when they go out to protect the community.
This year though, Chris said he has cut back the hours, only doing 300 to 400 hours of training.
Chris is the second ever person in the Lithgow District to receive this medal.
Group Captain Christopher Sharp joined Portland Brigade in 1990 and immediately became a very active member.
In 2001 he was voted in as a Deputy Captain, a position he held until 2005. He took on the role of Senior Deputy Captain in 2006 and held that position for over 10 years. In 2008 he became a Deputy Group Captain and held that position until he was voted in as a Group Captain in 2015.
Group Captain Sharp has been instrumental in reviving group training days in the northern area of the Lithgow District.
He has ensured that locations like Glen Alice and Capertee receive appropriate training to maintain the membership and keep their skills up to date to safeguard survival of the Brigades.
Group Captain Sharp has been Portland Brigade's Training Officer for 15 years as well as being a member of the Lithgow District Training Committee for 13 years. He held the position of Chairman of this Committee for 9 years.
During this time, he has worked long and hard to ensure a single Training Committee was created across the Bathurst, Oberon and Lithgow districts for more coordinated and effective training.
He now holds the position of Deputy Chair of the Chifley/Lithgow Training Committee. Group Captain Sharp has also been a member on the State Working Group for the development of the Fire Ground Communications Course.
Group Captain Sharp provides all levels of training and has gained high-level skills in Chainsaw and Village Firefighter training and these skills are sought after across the Chifley/Lithgow district.
He now instructs and assesses on all mainstream courses from basic to group leader level. He is a specialist instructor/assessor/coordinator for chainsaw and rural fire driving.
He has also gained his Certificate IV in Training and Assessment which has been very beneficial in his training roles. His ability to liaise with the Team staff when planning and delivering training is exemplary.
Group Captain Sharp has also been involved with the Region East Exercise, coordinating events in 2011 and 2012.
He also assists in the co-ordination of the Bi-Annual Major Chifley/Lithgow Team Exercise which brings together brigades from Lithgow, Bathurst and Oberon Districts to network and practice firefighting skills in a practical way.
On a local level he runs additional workshops to assist brigades for their training days and assists with Group training days and training with external agencies and authorities.
Currently all members of the Lithgow District hold the necessary and appropriate training levels thanks largely to the work of Group Captain Sharp and his dedicated team of trainers.
He was also very involved in the development of the Hot Fire Trailer during 2009 and remains one of the main instructors on its use. This trailer has become a valuable training tool for the local brigades and is also used during training activities with other agencies and authorities.
Group Captain Christopher Sharp is also a representative on the Chifley/Lithgow Senior Management Team.
He is a well-respected, dedicated and committed member of the RFS and a great mentor for current and new members.