Mallacoota brigade's tanker led the emergency services contingent of the Australia Day parade as thousands of Victorians turned out to celebrate the day and pay tribute to the sector that has worked so hard together this bushfire season.
Mallacoota Captain Rod Lewis, who yesterday drove the more than 10 hours from Mallacoota to take part in the parade, said it has been a special day.
"Very emotional," he said. A huge honour, especially seeing the crowds and the appreciation that came from that. And of course the smiles and waves we got from our bosses at the top of the ladder.
Mallacoota's participation was a symbol of emergency services working together in Mallacoota since it was impacted by bushfire over the New Year's period.
"Everybody's holding up," Mr Lewis said. "You can't say enough about the brigade members and the initial strike teams that came in. They worked like you wouldn't believe. I saw the devotion they gave and they stood in front of everything. Whatever was thrown at them, they didn't take a backwards step. It's a bit of a blur to me now because it's been so intense."
CFA Chief Officer and Chief Executive Officer Steve Warrington said it was a great moment to recognise the incredible community spirit of Australians h has witnessed during the immeasurable challenges this fire season has presented us.
"We have stood together through the worst of nature, and seen kindness through the extraordinary generosity of people willing to lend a hand in any way they can," he said.
"This Australia Day Parade is a celebration of camaraderie, with Mallacoota Fire Brigade leading the emergency services contingent - we recognise and say thank you to all emergency services personnel for your continued dedication to helping keep Victorians safe."
Author: CFA Media