On Saturday 8 October, CFA crews joined with our colleagues from Fire Rescue Victoria, SES, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police for the 26th City of Whittlesea Blessing of the Fleet.
The Blessing of the Fleet is a centuries old tradition originating in the fishing villages of Catholic southern Europe. A blessing from the local priest was meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.
Fortunately, the recent run of significant wet weather cleared for the morning ceremony, where blessings for a safe fire season were given to both crews and vehicles by leaders from Presbyterian, Buddhist, Sikh, Islamic and Greek Orthodox faiths – a powerful display of diversity and inclusion in action.
The Chocolate Lilies Choir provided a marvellous richness to the ceremony to acknowledge the role CFA plays to protect our communities.
Mernda Lieutenant Jordan Casey read the Firefighters Prayer, and guest speaker Whittlesea Diamond Valley Group Officer Peter Bury talked about the values of collaborating to serve.
The event demonstrated the strength that comes the combined capabilities of emergency management agencies, governments and the faith communities.
We are, indeed, blessed.