NATION

President Rewards Suva Firefighters For Their Services

Four retired firemen were awarded the 50th anniversary of Independence Commemorative Medal at the State House yesterday.
07 Oct 2020 11:59
President Rewards Suva Firefighters For Their Services
The four retired fire officers, (from left), Epeli Matata, Luke Qase, Paula Radrodro and Kaliova Turaga after receiving the 50th anniversary of Independence commemorative medal during the special investiture ceremony by President Major-General (Ret’d)Jioji Konrote at the State House on October 6, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Four retired firemen were awarded the 50th anniversary of Independence Commemorative Medal at the State House yesterday.

Luke Qase, Kaliova Turaga, Epeli Matata and Paula Radrodro were part of the fire brigade in the 1970s and 1980s administered by the Suva City Council.

The four men were elated.

“I am happy. This is a proud moment for me. I never thought our services would be given recognised,” said Mr Turaga. He joined the service in 1982.

Mr Qase, the eldest in the lot, joined the service in 1971, a year after independence.

He said it was good to see the improvements that has been made to make firefighting easier.

He said in their time, everything was down to the basics.

Mr Matata, joined in 1976. He said they operated under the Suva City Council and had to service as far as Nausori.

“When we were in operation, there was no fire station apart from the one we had in Suva. We rushed to Nausori if we had to,” he said.

Mr Radrodro joined in 1980. He said despite the hardships, there were comradery among the men and that was something that made even the hardest trips enjoyable.

He said the conditions of the trucks or the roads did not matter because it was service before self.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

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