SAS Paramedic awarded for efforts during Tropical Cyclone

Up close shot of medal

Congratulations to Edinburgh City Paramedic Steve Reiffer who has been awarded a National Emergency Medal for his services during Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Steve, originally from Australia, was working in his home country in 2017 at the time of TC Debbie, which is one of the strongest cyclones ever to strike Queensland and impact New South Wales.

TC Debbie was declared a national emergency and significant emergency service resources were mobilised. Sadly, at least ten people lost their lives as a result of the damage inflicted by the 2017 cyclone and hundreds of homes were severely damaged by the impacts of high winds, the strongest of which was recorded at 263km per hour.

Steve was awarded the National Emergency Medal, from the office of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

He has also been nominated for a further award for services rendered during the 2019-2020 Bushfires, shortly before his move to the UK, which devastated many part parts of Australia.

He said: “Both these events were national disasters and came with great loss in property and life. TC Debbie impacted a large area of Australia and in addition to loss of life and property, impacted Queensland and northern NSW for a long time. We spent most of our two weeks volunteering in Mackay and surrounding towns, which were some of the most affected communities. The disaster relief and recovery efforts in this area lasted years.”

Posted on 23/08/2023