Just before midnight on 30 July 1997 the call came from the Thredbo Alpine Village: a massive landslide had engulfed several lodges.
Paul Genner, Senior Operations Officer for the NSW State Emergency Management Committee, was on 24-hour call and immediately deployed fire, rescue and ambulance services.
For fifteen years Paul has often been on-call, ready to deal with disasters ranging from bushfires to the Thredbo disaster, from poultry pandemics to the Asian tsunami. Through his selflessness, dedication and vigilance he has helped to save life, reduce injury and loss and make Australia’s emergency response one of the world’s best.
He is proud of Australia’s ability to respond to disasters, and especially proud of the alertness of his home state of NSW.
‘Since before the Sydney Olympics we have maintained state-wide training and emergency exercises which have made us as good as any in the world,’ he says. ‘The emergency service professionals are backed up by trained volunteers in a way which is unique to Australia.’
As Senior Operations Officer, Paul plays a pivotal role in getting essential information out to emergency and support services who are on the front line.
Paul received the Emergency Services Medal for long and distinguished service maintaining the State Emergency Operations Centre at a level of readiness capable of 24 hours / 7 days per week response to major emergencies. The Medal recognises distinguished and meritorious service by people like Paul working in emergency service organisations across the nation.