News & Media

The Spirit of Christmas

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 24 December, 2010

Views: 8109

Over the last 2 years CFA and many teams and individuals in the CFA family have done it tough. This Christmas, we all hope for some "down" time to quietly relax with friends and family. Christmas is a time for festivities, for giving and for celebrating the birth of Christ and the hope that faith brings to our spirit.

Amongst this celebration let's pause to think of those in the CFA family for whom Christmas may not be so easy. There will be those who will be without loved ones, and those who are still in recovery from the 2009 Black Saturday Fires. In the last week I have met with CFA members at Kinglake West, Kinglake and Mudgegonga - all areas that burned ferociously on Black Saturday. Many are still in temporary accommodation, repairing farm buildings and replacing fences. More still are coping with losses of loved ones in their communities. I pause at this time to acknowledge the real courage and determination of these wonderful people whose community leadership and positive outlook on life makes me feel very humble.

A few days ago, I shared a commemoration service at Tarrawingee, remembering ten firefighters who lost their lives fighting a fire near Wangaratta on 22nd December 1943. And today, tragically, we hear news of 2 firefighters killed and fourteen injured in a fire structure collapse in Chicago. These are stark reminders of the onerous duties performed by firefighters, be they paid or volunteer, across the globe. As many of us tuck into our Christmas roast there will be firefighters on duty, at stations or on the job, going about our mission of protecting life and property. Ours is a continuing role. Ours is a role with sometimes difficult decisions which have life or death outcomes. Exceptional people doing vital work.

This is nearing the sixth week for me as CFA Chief Officer. In my travels I have been touched by the spirit of purpose and a sense of optimism for the future. There continues to be much activity across the whole organisation. Notwithstanding recent flood activity, the lead up to the fire season has been relatively quiet. I sense that February will be a time of peak risk though. Along with messages from Chairman Kerry and CEO Mick and the Executive Management Team, I thank you for your hard work in 2010 and your commitment to CFA and the community.

Kristin, the boys and I wish you and your families a safe and joyous Christmas celebration. Remember the true reason for Christmas, and don't forget those who serve.

I look forward to being part of the CFA team. 2011 will bring optimism, hope and confidence as we focus on our mission of protecting life and property in our communities.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015