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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Tweed rescuers awarded

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Three Tweed residents who dragged an unconscious, elderly woman from a unit fire have received a Commissioner’s Commendation from Fire and Rescue NSW.

The award is the highest honour a civilian rescuer can receive.

On May 11 2010, Marie Gaardsted and her daughter Vibeke were on their balcony and noticed a fire in the unit below.

With the aid of Robert McKenzie, they battled thick black smoke and dragged Florence Barnes out of the unit, almost certainly saving her life in the process.

Fire and Rescue superintendent Chris Bond told ABC radio this morning, ‘these people went above and beyond’.

‘Fire and Rescue NSW doesn’t encourage people to risk their own health and safety but of course human nature is that you will do what you can to assist,’ he added.

The trio were recommended for the award by Fire and Rescue NSW Tweed station officer Leo Ayoub.


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