For almost fifty years Peter Shearer has served and protected the Wilton community.
His dedication was recognised when he was awarded a Meritorious Australian Fire Service Medal during the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mr Shearer said he was “honoured” to be given the award.
He joined the Wilton Rural Fire Brigade in 1968.
“My father was involved so I followed in his footsteps,” the Wilton brigade captain said.
“What we do today is nothing like what we did in the 60s.
“I have loved helping serve the community and enjoyed meeting people and working in the RFS organisation.”
Mr Shearer moved through the ranks from firefighter to deputy captain, senior deputy captain and captain and has also attained his group leader qualification.
He has served as a divisional commander and sector leader in many local campaign fires since the 1970's and attended fires in the Blue Mountains, Macarthur and lllawarra areas.
Mr Shearer actively assists the district with local hazard reductions either leading his crew, acting as a safety officer, prescribed burn supervisor, or as incident controller.
“I have always been involved with Wilton brigade and I have lived in the town all my life,” Mr Shearer said.
“I have formed great friendships in the organisation.”
Mr Shearer has attended countless fires and car accidents and has enjoyed the continued training.
“The brigade and I have attended some nasty motor vehicle incidents on Picton Road and Hume Highway,” he said.
“I also remember the fires in Burragorang Valley in the 1990s well.
“I was also in a management role during the 2013 fire in Wollondilly.”
As a brigade training officer Mr Shearer has mentored and encouraged local youth to become RFS members.
He has also actively encouraged and promoted female participation in the Wilton brigade since the 1980's.
The captain has promoted women’s leadership qualities whether as an operational firefighter or in an administrative role.
“The world changed and we realised women could have a role in the organisation,” Mr Shearer said.
“In the earlier years, the RFS was a men’s organisation but now women are encouraged to join in an active role.
“I am proud to be part of an organisation that has moved with the social times.”
Mr Shearer said the award should go to the whole brigade because every member, past and present, was dedicated to serving the community.