This is far from my finest photograph and I am not really a fan of ‘selfies’, but this photo means a huge amount. I took it on Saturday when I played a small part in a charity stair climb featuring 600 firefighters, 25kgs of kit each and 28 floors at the Crown Hotel in Melbourne.
The aim was to raise funds for support programs dealing with mental health issues in the emergency services and to raise awareness of the importance of dealing with such issues and supporting each other.
Having been an extended member of the firefighting family all my life, through my grandfather, father and uncles, and more recently an active firefighter myself, I was delighted to take part in this event and show that we are serious about supporting colleagues who may be struggling, as well as hoping for support and understanding should we ever require it.
I managed to complete the climb in 6 min 27 seconds, which was pretty reasonable for a first go and an above average time. Not bad for an old bloke who up until a month ago dodged the stairs whenever possible.
I was also proud to raise $3365 towards the cause thanks to the generosity of family, friends and colleagues.
Please, whatever job you do, look out for your colleagues and be the support and the friend to those who are experiencing hard times.