Around 600 firefighters and emergency service personnel across Australia stormed up the stairway of Crown Metropol Hotel on Saturday, 10 September to raise funds and awareness for mental health.
This year’s Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb challenge was held as an in-person event for the first time since 2019.
CFA firefighters joined participants from all over Australia to kit up in 25kgs of turnout and breathing apparatus gear and scale 28 floors together, raising funds for Lifeline, Fortem and the 000Foundation in the process.
This year’s challenge raised a total of more than $500,000 to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness for mental health issues such as depression, PTSD and suicide.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said it was great for emergency service personnel to come together in person and take the challenge head-on to raise money for a worthy cause.
“This is a fantastic physical event that our CFA volunteers have been enthusiastically participating in for nine years running now,” he said.
“We’re coming out of an incredibly tough few years which no doubt have taken their toll on people’s mental health in many ways, so it’s great to support these issues by finally coming together for some friendly competition and exercise.”
CFA climbers were joined by members from FRV, FFMVic, Victoria Police, South Australian Country Fire Service, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Fire and Rescue NSW, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Tasmania Fire Service and Western Australia’s Department of Fire and Rescue Services joined virtually.
Since its inception in 2014, the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb has raised more than $3 million, benefitting Alfred Hospital Burns Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Lifeline, Black Dog Institute, Emergency Services Foundation and 000Foundation.
Those who wish to donate or learn more about the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb, visit www.firefighterclimb.org.au.
According to Lifeline:
- About nine Australians die every day by suicide.
- Estimates suggest more than 65,000 Australians attempt taking their own life each year.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between ages of 15 and 44.
- For each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people including the family, friends, work colleagues and first responders at time of death.