CFA members from across Victoria have helped raise more than $200,000 dollars for mental health charities during the virtual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb.
The annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb that is usually held at Crown Metropol was transformed this year; taking place virtually and encouraging participants to climb stairs from “R U OK” day on 10 September throughout to World Mental Health day on 10 October.
Acting Chief Officer Garry Cook said CFA embraced this year’s new-look event, which challenged participants to collectively build up to One Million Steps for Mental Health.
“I’m very proud to tell you that collectively CFA has achieved more than 3.7 million steps over the course of this month,” he said.
“I’d like to congratulate participants from all the firefighting agencies that take part, but particularly the 355 firefighters, friends, and family members who stepped up for CFA.”
While organisers are still collecting funds, this year’s tally has already surpassed $214,000, with all funds shared between Lifeline, the Black Dog Institute, and the 000 Foundation.
“CFA is proud to have our members take part in this challenge to support mental health charities in their important work.”
The popular event for firefighters was also opened up to friends and family to participate this year, with the CFA’s step count contributing to the total of almost 4.5 million steps collectively accumulated by participants from all agencies.
CO Garry Cook said the challenge had the added benefit of bringing people together virtually in these challenging times.
“This year has been incredibly tough for everyone. The stair climb provided friendly competition with the health benefits of exercise, all the while raising vital funds for mental health.”
This year’s fundraising adds to the more than $2.4 million that has been raised for a variety of charities since the first stair climb in 2014.