Memorial service honours fireys

Dedicated men and women who have lost their lives while serving their communities were honoured yesterday at the CFA annual Memorial Service.

Held at Upper Beaconsfield, the service paid tribute to the 68 firefighters who have died in the line of duty since the inception of CFA in 1944.

CFA Chief Officer, Euan Ferguson said the service underlines the bravery shown by CFA’s members – ordinary Victorians, who year after year, risk their lives in the protection of the community.

“Today’s service is both a symbolic and tangible recognition of the extraordinary sacrifice of those CFA members who have lost their lives in their service to the state,” he said.

This year’s Memorial Service will also acknowledge CFA firefighter losses during the 2012-13 fire season.

CFA’s Peter Harry, a 2nd Lieutenant with Gisborne Fire Brigade, died while attending a house fire late last year.

DSE firefighter, Peter Cramer, died while deployed to the fires in Tasmania. He served 22 years with CFA as a volunteer at Gembrook, Swifts Creek and Tyers brigades. Two DSE firefighters, Steven Kadar and Katie Peters, also lost their lives while working on the Harrietville-Alpine fires.

CFA’s Manager of Volunteerism, Kate Harrap said the Annual Memorial Service is an opportunity to acknowledge those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“Through loss, hardship and experience, we have learnt from all those who have come before. We honour the commitment, dedication and hard work from all who protect Victorian communities – and reflect on their legacy that lives on in CFA,” she said.

Today’s service also draws from CFA’s Memorial Wall at its Fiskville Training College, to remember those firefighters who died in the line of duty with the CFA and its predecessor organisations, the Country Fire Brigades Board and the Bush Fire Brigades Committee.

A banner representing the Memorial Wall is taken to each Memorial Service outside of Fiskville. Whenever an additional plaque is included on the memorial wall, the firefighter’s name and other details are also embroidered on the banner.

The CFA Annual Memorial service is held on the Sunday closest to International Firefighters’ Day and St Florian’s Day (May 4). St Florian is the Patron Saint of Firefighters.

For more information about the Firefighters Memorial or to see the Honour Roll, click here