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CFA fireys step up for mental health
Hundreds of CFA firefighters have been donning their PPC and getting hot and sweaty despite being nowhere near a fire.
Fireys have begun training for this year’s Damien Burke Memorial Relay Run (Burkey’s M2M2) and 4th Annual Melbourne Firefighters Stair Climb (MFSC).
This year both events are joining forces aiming to raise $500,000 by “Stepping up to fight Depression, PTSD and Suicide” to support the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline.
CFA member and Event Manager Steve Axup said that the inaugural M2M, last year, was in honour of MFB Senior Station Officer Damien Burke who took his life while on secondment to CFA Mildura and this year’s M2M2 will go via Ballarat, in honour of CFA Firefighter Nathan Shanahan, before culminating at the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb on Saturday 2 September.
“We are extremely proud to take the route to Melbourne via Ballarat in honour of CFA Firefighter Nathan Shanahan, who lost his battle with PTSD earlier this year,” Steve said.
“For the first time the crew from Burkey’s M2M2 will include members of the Victorian Police and Ambulance Victoria, as PTSD is a major concern for all the Emergency Services. One of the best parts of the 653km journey is the great hospitality we receive from the CFA brigades in Mildura, Ouyen, Sea Lake, Charlton, Bendigo and Ballarat.”
More than 600 firefighters from across Victoria, Australia, New Zealand and the World will undertake the 28-story climb at Melbourne’s Crown Metrapol, wearing 25kg of turnout gear and wearing breathing apparatus.
The MFSC continues to grow with over 440 CFA career and volunteer firefighters from 140 CFA brigades already signed up to participate this year.
The Firefighters Charity Fund have made the extraordinary pledge to match dollar-for-dollar every donation received over this coming weekend (5-6 August), so be sure to get your donations in!
CFA Brigades are also involved in many fantastic fundraising initiatives this year.
“Wodonga are having a “Ladder 49” Movie night on 9th August, Wodonga West are having a Pie Drive selling lamingtons and beef pies and Ruby Fire Brigade have already held fundraisers at the local gym,” Steve said.
“The fundraising competition is also heating up with the “Battle of the Peninsula” – Dromana and Mornington Fire Brigades are neck and neck having raised over $3000 each, with Ferntree Gully CFA following close behind.”
The Crown Conference Centre will host a welcome and the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service on Saturday 2 September at 7am, prior to the climb commencing.