By Jessica Anstice
Narre Warren North Fire Brigade life member Kevin Ridd, 75, recently received his National Award second clasp.
In 2006, Mr Ridd received the National Medal, a medal that is awarded after 15 years of service, and then further acknowledged every 10 years.
The National Award was created by Royal Warrant and is awarded by the Governor-General to personnel in Australia’s emergency services.
This award recognises prolonged exposure to hazard in the service of the community.
Mr Ridd has been a member of the Narre Warren North Fire Brigade for a long time.
His firefighting career began in 1973 and he was an active member for many years.
Over recent years he has no longer been an active firefighter.
“Kevin was a very practical fire fighter in his day, although he is no longer active, he gave up his time to do services around the station such as maintenance work,” Narre Warren North Fire Brigade president Mark Dobrich said.
“He was always very actively involved in the brigade.”
In 2009, Mr Ridd received the National Emergency Medal for his participation in the Victorian Black Saturday fires.
In addition, Mr Ridd has accepted the 45 Years of CFA Service Award, he is an honouree life member of the CFA and a life member of the Narre Warren North Fire Brigade.
The Narre Warren North Fire Brigade has an award named after Mr Ridd, called the Kevin Ridd Award.
The award is presented to either a brigade member or a member of the general public that has contributed to the community significantly over a period of time.
The Berwick Opportunity Shop was the last to receive the Kevin Ridd Award.
Mr Ridd would not have been involved in the CFA if it weren’t for his late cousin, his wife Jenny and his three children.
“If I didn’t have Jenny’s support, I wouldn’t have been able to be involved in the CFA,” Mr Ridd said.
“She was there for me when I needed her.”
The Ash Wednesday fires surrounded their family home and Mr Ridd was out of work for two weeks.
“When I was fighting fires on Ash Wednesday, she took our caravan down to the Narre Warren North Fire Station to give those who were on changeover duty a place to rest.”
Mrs Ridd was a member of the Narre Warren North Fire Brigade Auxiliary.
Born and bred in Stawell, Mr Ridd’s cousin, Ken Ridd was the captain of the Stawell Fire Brigade. Unfortunately, Ken passed away on his way home from a CFA meeting. Ken’s two late sons were involved in the Grampians CFA.
The Ridd family have a road named after them, called Ridd Road in Wal Wal, a town nearby Stawell and a conservation named The Ridd Conservation, also in Wal Wal.
Mr Ridd was the president of the Narre Warren North Fire Brigade for 10 years, he built a fire truck and he was the project manager.