Running a presentation

If you're new to running a service honours presentation, here's some suggestions for organising the function.

Setting the date

When setting the date for your honours function:

  • Be mindful that events scheduled on a public holiday or long weekend may attract fewer guests
  • Please avoid the UFBA annual conference held in October/November
  • Organise the event as far in advance as possible:
    • Book venue
    • Invite guests
    • Arrange catering
    • Order awards three months in advance
    • Advise UFBA of date/time/place.

Invitations

Honours Function – no 50-Year Medal or Gold Star

The host brigade could send invitations to:

  • UFBA representative to present all UFBA service awards – office staff will help with this
  • FENZ representative to present Long Service and Good Conduct medals/clasps and other FENZ gifts
  • Both representatives should be invited if the brigade is celebrating an anniversary
  • Local dignitaries such as MP or Mayor
  • Recipients and their guests
  • Brigade Life Honorary Members, Honorary Members, friends of the Brigade, representatives of other local emergency services, employers of Brigade personnel, members and their partners
  • Representatives from neighbouring brigades, Provincial Association and Sub Association

Honours Function – 50-Year Medal or Gold Star

The brigade should send invitations to:

  • UFBA president
  • FENZ Board, senior FENZ executives, Provincial Association (if the brigade is a member) and Gold Star Association – they will each make presentations
  • Recipients usually have the privilege of inviting family members and friends as guests of the brigade
  • For rural fire forces, defence and industrial brigades, those invited will reflect the brigade’s administration and operations
  • Brigade Life Honorary Members and friends of the brigade often attend

Presenting a Gold Star or 50-Year Medal

The UFBA will organise a representative:

  • The UFBA president or his/her nominee presents all Gold Star and 50-Year Medal awards; UFBA staff will advise who is attending
  • Other than those awards, the brigade may request a current or past UFBA office holder to present awards
  • On rare occasions, arrangements can be made with the UFBA presenter for someone else to be involved in the presentations. Please contact UFBA Service Honours staff to discuss, well in advance of the function
  • The brigade usually provides the presenter with short biographical notes on the recipients
  • FENZ will usually send a representative to a 50-Year Medal presentations and brigade celebrations of 50, 75 and 100 years, and will confirm attendance with the brigade
  • Provincial Association and/or Gold Star Association will advise you regarding their representative.

UFBA awards and protocols for who is eligible to present them

UFBA Award

Eligible Presenter

Three-Year Certificate

UFBA President, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or VP or Past President
Brigade Officers in Charge

Five-Year Medal

UFBA President, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or VP
Brigade Officers in Charge

Two-Year Silver Bar

UFBA President, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or VP or Past President
Brigade Officers in Charge

25-Year Gold Star

UFBA President*, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or Past Presidents

Two-Year Gold Bar

UFBA President, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or VP or Past Presidents
Brigade Officers in Charge

40-Year Certificate

UFBA President, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or VP or Past Presidents

50-Year Medal

UFBA President*, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or Past Presidents

Brigade Life Honorary Medal

UFBA President, Vice President or Patron
UFBA Board Directors or Past Presidents
UFBA Life Honorary Members
Local Provincial Association President or VP or Past President
Brigade Officers in Charge

*Presentation of these medals is the absolute prerogative of the President

Honours Function

This is held on a date chosen by the brigade in conjunction with the recipients. It may be:

  • The anniversary of the brigade’s founding
  • Chosen when there is a Gold Star due to a member, or when several members have qualified for service honours awards
  • The function is basically a brigade social event with the added ceremony of the presentation of UFBA/FENZ awards
  • A meal, or refreshments and entertainment, is often included.
  • It is seen as a highlight of the brigade’s calendar, with as many members as possible attending in undress uniform with medals.

Programme

A convention has developed for the order of service at these functions:

  • Gold Star and 50-Year Medals must be separate presentations after other awards and following an intermission
  • Brigades may present their own awards, such as: attendance prizes, most improved firefighter, sports prizes or wooden spoon
  • The brigade may invite a local dignitary to speak
  • It may mark a special milestone or anniversary, or thank individuals or groups for special efforts, such as acknowledgement of those in the FENZ Employer Recognition Scheme.
  • See Appendix B Hyperlink for a suggested run sheet for your event.

Appendix A: Running the event

If a 50-Year Medal or Gold Star is being presented, it should be after other awards and following an interval.   

  • The MC:
    • An MC (or the OIC) provides continuity for the function
    • Needs to know names and positions of all those officiating so each person can be introduced to the guests, providing smooth progress throughout the ceremony
    • The Awards:
      • The presenter will not bring the medals – these must be ordered well in advance
      • Housekeeping:
        • The UFBA presenter will probably want to check with the brigade secretary before the start of the function to ensure all the awards are on hand, ready to be presented
        • Prior to the ceremony, medals should be taken out of boxes, the clasps opened and then laid out on a table at the front so they can be readily available for presentation (boxes can be passed to medal recipients after the ceremony)
        • Some presenters have ‘hangers’ which are pinned to recipients immediately before the ceremony and on which the medals are hung when presented. This saves fiddly and sometimes embarrassing pinning/attaching as well as time. The presenter will want the hangers returned afterwards.
  • Assistance:
    • Arrange for the secretary or someone else to be available on or near the stage to hand each award to the presenter, to help ensure the correct medals are presented.
    • Anyone due for an award but not present should be mentioned to the presenter, so that acknowledgement can be made in absentia.
  • Line up:
    • The line-up of recipients needs rehearsing or pre-arrangement to ensure recipients know:
      • That they are receiving an award
      • That when called forward as a group they move quickly
      • That they know where in the room the line-up will be
      • How to get the order of the line-up correct
      • To stand at ease in a straight line waiting for the presentation
      • The brigade is on show and this part of the function can look untidy if not properly organised.

Appendix B: run sheet:

We’ve included this run sheet to use or adapt:

  • MC:
    • Welcome and introduces OIC
  • OIC;
    • Introduces the evening and Presents any brigade prizes, trophies, sports awards, wooden spoon, etc.
  • MC:
    • Introduces FENZ Executive/Officer who makes remarks and presents Employers’ Recognition Certificates
    • Makes introductory remarks about honours and service etc., then introduces UFBA Representative
  • UFBA Representative:
    • Makes remarks then Invites recipients to come forward as a group or one by one
    • Presents 3-year Certificates followed by 5-Year Medals, 2-Year Silver Bars, 2-Year Gold Bars, 40-Year Certificate
    • MC or presenter usually announces total service for each recipient as they are called forward to receive their award, eg:
      • “Tom Doe, a 2-Year Silver Bar, taking total service to 9 years”
      • “Jane Deer, a 2-Year Silver bar representing a total of 13 years’ service”
      • “Joe Smith, a 2-Year Gold Bar representing a total of 29 years’ service to the brigade and community”, etc.
  • MC:
    • Invites FENZ representative forward
  • FENZ representative:
    • Makes remarks and presents Long Service and Good Conduct medals, followed by medal holders being awarded First Clasp, Second Clasp etc
  • MC:
    • Invites any dignitaries, such as MP, Mayor or stakeholder, to speak
      • Dignitaries and/or stakeholders speak
    • Invites Brigade Representatives to make any other presentations to recipients of UFBA awards, their partners, etc.
      • Brigade Representative makes other presentations (often flowers/gifts to partners)
    • If a no Gold Star or 50-Year Medal, Invites OIC or Brigade Representative to close the formal part of the evening
      • OIC or Brigade Representative closes the formal part of the evening
    • If a Gold Star or 50-Year Medal is to be presented, MC announces intermission (meal, drinks, a bracket of music, etc.)
    • Following intermission, recipients and partners on stage; officials on stage or ready to be called
    • Calls the gathering to order, introduces UFBA Representative and any other dignitaries
  • UFBA Representative:
    • Makes remarks and presents Gold Stars
  • MC:
    • Introduces Dignitaries/FENZ Board/FENZ Executive
  • FENZ Board/Executive makes remarks and presents statuette to recipients
  • MC:
    • Introduces representatives of Provincial Fire Brigades’ Association (if present)
  • PFBA Representative makes remarks and presentation
  • MC:
    • Introduces any other stakeholders or special guests
  • Stakeholder/Special Guest make remarks
  • MC:
    • Introduces OIC or Brigade Representative
  • OIC or Brigade Representative make Brigade presentation, such as Life Honorary Membership Medal) and any other gifts to recipients and/or their partners
  • MC:
    • Invites Gold Star recipients to reply
  • Gold Star recipients speak
  • MC:
    • Announces a 5-minute break before commencing the 50-year Medal presentations
  • 50-Year Medal presentations
  • MC:
    • Invites OIC to close the formal part of the function