FREDERICTON (GNB) – Sixteen staff members from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development have been recognized for their efforts during the 2019-20 Australian wildfires.

“I am incredibly proud of the way these individuals represented our province and our country when they were called upon,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “In our global community, it is important that we are able to call on each other in times of crisis. I am glad that Australia knew they could reach out to Canadians and that we could provide them with assistance.”

In December 2019, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre received a request for assistance with wildfires in Australia. In February 2020, the provincial government sent staff members, the majority of whom were forest rangers, to New South Wales where they worked to clean up hazards to the public left by the fires.

“This was an excellent example of countries working together to support one another,” said Lieutenant-Governor Brenda Murphy. “It is an honour to see New Brunswickers being recognized for their service in helping Australia during its recovery from these tragic wildfires.”

The following 16 staff were recognized by Premier Gladys Berejiklian of New South Wales, Australia:

  • Jason Brideau-Chiasson, forest ranger;
  • Alain Bujold, district forest ranger;
  • Tony Cole, district forest ranger;
  • William Connell, forest ranger;
  • Samuel Dumont, forest ranger;
  • Terry Jordan, forest ranger;
  • Tyson MacCallum, forest ranger;
  • Rodney MacEachern, fish and wildlife technician;
  • Nathan Martin, forest ranger;
  • Miguel Pellerin, forest ranger;
  • Bruno Pelletier, district forest ranger;
  • Matt Ruff, forest fire management coordinator;
  • Phillip Russell, forest ranger;
  • Keith Sherrard, forest ranger;
  • Adam Sullivan, assistant district forest ranger; and
  • Andrew Tingley, forest ranger.

“I am very pleased to see members from our department being recognized for their work in Australia,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “This goes to show that the work done by our forest rangers is so important, not just to us here in our province, but on a global scale, and we should all be proud to be represented by these individuals.”

New Brunswick is a member of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which helps co-ordinate mutual aid among provinces and often co-ordinates the sharing of resources with the United States and other countries. The province provides assistance when conditions permit.