A Carterton Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief and a Masterton Brigade Member have been honoured for their bravery and strength for their actions surrounding the 2012 Carterton Hot Air Ballon Crash. The awards were presented in a ceremony to Wayne Robinson and Mike Cornford, who were two of the first firefighters on the crash scene. Both men provided assistance in the crash scene, in which 11 people died.
The sights that they witnessed would have been horrific, as the hot air balloon exploded into a fireball of flames with the basket in which nine people becoming totally engulfed. While both brigade members stood down from their positions after the incident, the trauma that resulted from witnessing and aiding in the recovery of the balloon crash deeply traumatised both men.
The honouring of their bravery at a ceremony attended by Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, is hoping to bring closure to both the men, their families, friends and members of the brigade.