Kyabram and district residents are being urged to support Red Balloon DayFebruary 26, 2014 4:21am
Kyabram Leading Appliances owner Paul Dickens believes the Red Balloon Day concept is a good idea to show support for CFA volunteers.
This Friday has been nominated as Red Balloon Day, with people across Australia urged to fly a red balloon to show appreciation for firefighters.
The idea is for residents and businesses to fly a red balloon from letterboxes, fences or in business windows, or a ribbon from cars on Friday February 28, the last official day of summer in Australia.
The symbol of flying a red balloon is intended to let all fire fighters know their dedication and effort in protecting lives, homes and communities is appreciated.
Kyabram and district CFA volunteers regularly have to leave their own families, homes and workplaces, at all times of day and without notice, to help protect others.
A story in the Free Press last month highlighted Kyabram CFA members responded to 153 callouts last year with a subsequent total of more than 3000 hours spent helping their community.
Those figures are from just one local CFA brigade and when you consider the combined totals for all the brigades in the district the commitment and number of voluntary hours contributed are huge.
Over the years many residents and business owners have had cause to thank CFA volunteers and last September Kyabram Leading Appliances owner Paul Dickens was grateful to Kyabram CFA after a spate of deliberately lit fires in the town on one weekend.
A fire scorched the rear wall of Mr Dickens’ retail premises and destroyed three second-hand appliances, bins, and a sign.
‘‘When I arrived, there was smoke throughout the store and if the CFA had not responded so quickly, the fire would have spread into the roof and then we probably wouldn’t have a store here now,’’ Mr Dickens said.
‘‘Having had to call on these guys, I appreciate how hard and diligently they work.’’
A CFA spokesperson said the organisation welcomed initiatives that demonstrated support for its firefighters and other emergency services members.
‘‘We receive all kinds of support throughout the year, from simple thank yous to donations of funds and businesses accommodating their staff who are volunteers, and we appreciate them all,’’ the spokesperson said.
It is hoped with support growing around Australia that Red Balloon Day may become an annual national event.
If you would like to show your support, red balloons are available from Kyabram Hire and other retail outlets across the district.
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