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CFA at Moomba
The annual Moomba Parade saw a break in its 58 year tradition as our eight Victorian emergency services led the parade with their very own dedicated Emergency Services Kings and Queens float.
CFA Moomba Queen April Himmelreich, a Community Relations officer with The Basin brigade, did a fantastic job representing us on the day.
“I felt so proud of who I was fortunate enough to be representing," she said. "It was a very emotional experience. Quite surreal to be standing on the float thinking, ‘Is this actually happening? Am I really a Queen on a float at Moomba?’
"Many families were there who typically wouldn’t attend the parade but for the incentive to pay tribute to emergency services. It was all very exciting to be part of, definitely one of my most memorable experiences in my life."
Eight CFA volunteers from across the state walked in uniform to proudly support the Royal Float, as well as volunteers from Victoria’s other emergency services.
Ian Hamley from the Portland brigade said it was great to be part of the parade.
“I would do it again at any time," he said. "They [the public] were amazed that CFA was built on volunteerism and were very appreciative of our dedication to the organisation. This was a great way to get the message out to the metropolitan public on what we stand for and what we do.”
Heathcote volunteer Tracey Mastropavlos said the parade gave her a new appreciation for the great work CFA members do.
“Walking in the parade yesterday and having people thank us for the work we do and the young children saying they want to be a firefighter just like us when they grow up, brought a tear to my eye. All the volunteers were very thankful for the wonderful opportunity to be part of the parade.”
CFA walked alongside other volunteers and staff from Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Ambulance Victoria, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Department of Sustainability & Environment and Salvation Army.
Ten News reported that the emergency services float received the loudest cheers as they travelled down St Kilda Road.
More than 100,000 lined the St Kilda Rd route to see flamboyant floats and scores of entertainers in a spectacular send-off for the annual event, which attracted an estimated 1.2 million-plus people over four days.
Congratulations CFA for representing us at such a well-known and well received event. It’s important to highlight who we are as a volunteer organisation, promote our close links with the other emergency services and highlight our valuable contributions to Victoria.
Images by Keith Pakenham CFA - Communities & Communication