American River resident and volunteer firefighter Andy Wood was recognised in the national Australia Day Honours list for 2021.
Mr Wood received an Australian Fire Services Medal (AFSM) for his contribution to the firefighting sector, primarily his leadership roles with the state and national volunteer firefighting associations.
He joined the South Australian Country Fire Service at Kingscote in 2006 as a brigade firefighter.
He transferred to the Wisanger CFS Brigade in 2009, and in 2010 was elected to the position of Brigade Lieutenant.
In 2012, he took on the role as Brigade Captain until 2015 and in 2016 he transferred to American River Brigade where he was elected as Captain, a role he continues in today.
He is an operational firefighter and recently served with fighting the devastating fires in his community of Kangaroo Island.
"He has provided outstanding leadership in the encouragement and development of all CFS brigade members he has led, including fostering youth involved with the CFS," his Honour's list entry reads.
"He undertook training and assessment qualifications so that he was best placed to deliver training to his peers and youth.
"Furthermore he became involved with the CFS Volunteers Association (CFSVA) and was elected president in 2016.
"He demonstrated exceptional performance and leadership, specifically when it was proposed to amalgamate the CFS with other emergency service organisations into a single organisation.
"He led the CFSVA with exceptional dignity and courage through this period providing significant support to volunteers."
In 2018, he was elected president of the Council of Australia Volunteer Fire Associations (CAVFA), which is the peak representative body of all volunteer fire associations, representing approximately 250,000 firefighters.
"In this role he has again shown leadership representing and advocating at a national level with governments and other key stakeholders for volunteer rights and support," the list reads.
"Mr Wood's dedication and commitment to the SA Country Fire Service, to volunteer personnel locally and nationally, and to the safety of the wider community, is to be commended."
The other SA resident to receive an AFSM this year was Lee Watson of the Adelaide Hills, who has nearly 40 years experience in the CFS, joining when he was 17.