Cromwell Volunteer firefighter Steve Shaw is a recipient in this years Kings Birthday Honours. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

Stephen (Steve) Shaw, Cromwell

Queen’s Service Order (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and hockey

For more than 35 years veteran firefighter Steve Shaw (Ngāi Tahu), has put himself on the line in the pursuit of protecting and supporting others.

He began his journey in the fire service with the Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1987, transferring to the Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1997.

Between 2007 and 2021 he served as the Cromwell Brigades chief fire officer, and during that time championed the wellbeing and training of the brigade’s volunteers, introducing a structured rostered system whereby duty crews took turn about responding to incidents and attending to duties around the station.

Since 2017 he has led the Fire and Emergency Central Otago-Lakes Peer Support Team, which conducts defusing sessions following traumatic events and provides one-on-one support to firefighters experiencing personal psychological issues and trauma.

Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighter Steve Shaw stepped down as fire chief after 14 years last year but has remained active in the fire service. Mr Shaw has been an active fire fighter for 35 years. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

When he stepped down as fire chief in 2021, he remained in active duty and joined the brigades Operational Support Unit.

Mr Shaw also held leadership roles in the Central Otago Hockey Association between 2006 and 2013, refreshing the organisation with a community focus, and was instrumental in the formation of Southern Region Hockey Inc. in 2010.

Receiving a Kings Birthday honour was more about the people he serves than himself, Mr Shaw said.

“It’s funny because people say [the Fire Brigade] is community service, and it is, but its sort of under the radar community service. There’s so many other people – I really feel like this is for them.”