top of page

ESM Award

About the Award

The Emergency Services Medal (ESM) recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.


It is awarded to career or volunteer, part-time or full time members of:

• A State or Territory Emergency Service

• Defence Force

• Emergency Services of the External Territories or Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Island and Norfolk Island


Who is eligible?

Career or volunteer members of one of the following Western Australian services – either a current member or a retired member (no more than 12 months since retirement) may be nominated for an ESM:

• State Emergency Service

• Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services

• Volunteer Marine Rescue Services

• Defence Force remunerated officer of the Commonwealth

• Surf Life Saving Western Australia Nominees must also have recent frontline service with prolonged exposure to hazard in the service of the community.


How is it awarded?

The ESM is awarded by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Emergency Services. Recipients of the ESM are announced on the Australia Day Honours List in January and the King's Birthday Honours List in June each year. They are entitled to use the letters ‘ESM’ after their names to show that their outstanding service has being recognised. The recipient is only awarded once and the ESM is not awarded posthumously.


Medal Design

The ESM is a circular silver and bronze medal. The central motif is a raised equilateral triangle with bevelled edges. This is bordered by stylised sprays of wattle. The centre of the triangle features a raised impression of the Federation Star that is surrounded by 24 balls. The balls represent the 24 hours per day the Emergency Service is available to the community. The back of the medal has the inscription ‘For Distinguished Service’. The 32 millimetre wide ribbon features a centre band of an orange and white checkerboard pattern, flanked on each outer edge by a royal blue band.


What is the medal awarded for?

To be considered for the ESM, the nominee needs to have made a significant contribution with prolonged exposure to hazards, had significant deployments, or who has given distinguished service in relation to emergency management, training or education. 


Preparing a nomination

When preparing an ESM nomination please address the following three criteria.

1. Previous operational/frontline roles the nominee has held in the organisation.

2. Description of the operational/frontline service the nominee is currently/has recently undertaken, which makes them eligible.

3. Outline the significant or outstanding contribution the nominee has made to the organisation through:

  • Prolonged exposure to a hazard or demonstration of exceptional skills in one or more emergency incidents;

  • Significant deployments in emergency situations; and/or

  • Implementation and facilitation of programs or innovations that directly supports and provides enduring benefit for frontline personnel.

Download the nomination guide and forms here:


Supporting nomination information

In addition to the criteria, also consider the following points for inclusion in the ESM nomination.

• What makes the nominee stand out above all others.

• Any training, education or professional development undertaken.

• Include any additional memberships with other affiliated or non-affiliated volunteer or community organisations that helps promote a better image of the nominee.

• Include two written references that attest to the nominee’s recent operational/frontline service. When referring to a particular incident or example of distinguished service, please include the perils and challenges that were faced and how they were overcome, and the level of danger involved.


Submitting your nomination

Completed nominations can be submitted at any time throughout the year:





Department of Fire and Emergency Services Honours and Awards Officer

PO Box P1174 Perth WA 6844


Please mark the nomination ‘Confidential’ An acknowledgement will be forwarded to the nominator once the nomination has been received. All completed nominations will be treated as confidential.


Need assistance?

If you have any further enquiries or require assistance with the preparation of your nomination, please email the Honours and Awards Officer at


Further Information

More information about the Emergency Services Medal is available on the It’s an Honour website.

As Volunteer Firefighters we do WHAT We Can, WHEN We Can, WHERE We Can, To The VERY BEST of Our Ability.

Our Mission
bottom of page