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SDC award to Wyndham fireman

The Southland App

Chris Chilton

11 June 2024, 6:32 AM

SDC award to Wyndham fireman(L-R) Southland District Mayor Rob Scott, Community Service Award recipient James Walker and Waihopai Toetoe Community Board chair Pamela Yorke at the presentation on Saturday (8 Jun).

Wyndham volunteer firefighter James Walker was recognised for his 40-year contribution to Wyndham’s fire service with a Southland District Council (SDC) Community Service Award on Saturday (8 Jun).


SDC Mayor Rob Scott and Waihopai Toetoe Community board chair Pamela Yorke presented the award to Mr Walker before a packed crowd at the Wyndham Golf Course Club rooms. 


Walker joined the Wyndham Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1984 alongside his father, which, in his words, “was the thing to do”.


Walker was promoted to third officer in 1992 and was appointed chief of Wyndham Fire Brigade in 2005.



Committed to the safety of his community, Walker played an integral part in the civil emergencies of the 2020 Southland floods and showed outstanding leadership skills through the Covid pandemic. 


Taking these leadership skills further, he was president of the Northern Southland Fire Brigades sub-association from 2008 until 2011, and has remained its secretary since 2022.


He has also served as president of the United Fire Brigades Association of New Zealand (UFBA) from 2019-2020, including being on the UFBA member advisory panel since 2019, Otago Southland Provincial Fire Brigades Association president from 2014-2015 and on executive from 2011-2016. 


Walker has achieved plenty in his time and is also a life member of the Wyndham Volunteer Fire Brigade, Northern Southland Fire Brigades Sub-association and the Otago-Southland Fire Brigade Association. 


Mayor Scott said he’d like to recognise Mr Walker’s “outstanding community dedication and the priceless work he’s put in”. 



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