CFA’s Annual Memorial Service on Sunday 5 May will honour the lives of those firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
CFA people and their families are invited to the event which will be held at the RACV Healesville Country Club in Healesville from 2pm.
The service is held each year on the Sunday closest to International Firefighters’ Day and St Florian’s Day (4 May). St Florian is the patron saint of firefighters.
This year’s memorial will reflect on the 1939 fires which led to the establishment of CFA, the 1943 Tarrawingee fire at which 10 firefighters lost their lives, the devastating fires of 1969 where two volunteers perished, and the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the January 8 1969 bushfires which saw 230 fires burn across Victoria, of which 21 were serious including fires in Lara, Darraweit Guim, Daylesford, Bulgana, Yea, Kangaroo Flat and Korongvale.
More than 250,000 hectares, 230 houses and 12,000 livestock were destroyed. Tragically 21 people died, including two CFA volunteers, and hundreds were injured.
February 7 2019 also marked the 10th anniversary of the 2009 bushfires which impacted 78 Victorian communities. More than 170 people lost their lives, a further 400 injured and more than 2000 homes destroyed. More than 19,000 CFA members were involved in frontline fighting, incident management and support behind the scenes during the firefight. One firefighter lost their life.
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said the Annual Memorial Service was an opportunity to honour the commitment, dedication and hard work of all CFA people, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting their communities.
“It’s a time for us to come together, to catch up, to share our losses and pay tribute to the firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” Steve said.
“We have learned from all of those who have fought before us and we will use this time to reflect on their legacy which still lives on today.
“We will also reflect on the 79 CFA members and 11 Country Fire Brigades Board and Bush Fire Brigade Committee firefighters who gave their lives in service.”