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10 June, 2020

Local wins Peer Support award from the QFES.

Local wins Peer Support award from the QFES.

By Phil Brandel

Local wins Peer Support award from the QFES.

One of the lesser-known roles in the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services (QFES) are the Peer Support Officers (PSOs).

PSOs are QFES members who are trained to assist and support their colleagues, with either work-related or personal difficulties.

PSOs are volunteers who can relate to their colleagues due to their common working environment and experiences. PSOs are there to provide confidential, informal short-term assistance, support or guidance to their colleagues.

PSOs volunteer their time to support QFES staff and volunteers through difficult and emotionally challenging situations and traumatic events and link their colleagues into professional services if required in a confidential manner.

The recent (QFES) annual Peer Support Officer Week celebrations recognised the valuable role of all the Peer Support Officers (PSO) across the state and highlighted those who have provided outstanding services with the Olga Wilson QFES PSO of the Year Award, which is an award that is handed out once a year to the leading PSO in the state.

This year the award of the PSO of the Year was won by Atherton local Guiseppe ‘Joe’ Torrisi.

A spokesperson for the QFES said that “Joe has always gone above and beyond of what is expected in his role to support his workmates and members of the community.” they said

“His kindness and generosity towards others has been formally recognised and the well of gratitude that exists runs deep.

“His service and commitment to others is the very spirit that makes Australia such a great and compassionate nation.”

Mr Torrisi is the Acting Station Officer for the Far Northern Region and has been with QFES for over 36 years.  He believes he won the award because “everybody knows they can call me anytime day or night.” he said

“If someone needs me I just jump in my car and go, I’ve been to pick up firefighters who can’t even drive after a job.

“I will take them somewhere for a coffee and chat with them to try and help them get their senses back.”



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