Bronwyn (Bonnie) Dobson does what she does to give back to the town in which she grew up and loves.

Dobson is to receive the Queen's Service Medal for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community. And that community is Matatā.

"It's for Matatā that I do what I do," Dobson said. "As I grew up, and then through my lifetime in the town, I got so much so what I do now is my way of giving back."

She is not the only family member to receive the honour. Her husband Brian, also a long-serving fireman, was recognised in the same way two years ago.


"Brian got his medal after 50 years in the brigade, I thought I had another 25 years to go before I would be considered," Dobson laughed.

"Having said that, I have to admit to being completely floored when I learnt of my nomination."

Dobson had been a volunteer operational support senior firefighter with the Matatā Volunteer Fire Brigade since 1998, and was involved with administration and secretarial work for the brigade for 17 years before that.

She played a key role in the Matatā Brigade becoming a medical first responder in 2004, in 2006 she completed a pre-hospital emergency care course and in 2009 joined St John Whakatāne as a volunteer first responder ambulance officer.

She later qualified as an emergency medical technician and has been employed as an ambulance officer since 2014.

Immediately following the 2005 Matatā floods she played a significant role in the establishment of a recording system to account for every person in the township and where they were evacuated to.

Dobson had been a member and treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Matatā Primary School, has worked for many years with the Matatā Village Volunteer Book Exchange, and fundraised for new clubrooms for the Matatā Rugby and Sports Club.