Rural Fire Service firefighters trek for Firefighters Walk for Life

FUNDRAISING: Firefighters Walk for Life participants Jeff Jackson, Matt Skinner, Martin Whelan and Kim Norton in The Levee, Maitland on Thursday.
FUNDRAISING: Firefighters Walk for Life participants Jeff Jackson, Matt Skinner, Martin Whelan and Kim Norton in The Levee, Maitland on Thursday.

A group of Maitland volunteer firefighters will enjoy a well-earned rest after embarking on a 280 kilometre journey in support of the Cancer Council.

Four walkers and four support crew from Lochinvar, Bolwarra and Thornton completed the Fire Fighters Walk for Life on Saturday, after they made their way from Sydney to Lochinvar in a week.

A Sulo bin for donations was also pushed along the whole way.

Six more support crew were based back in Maitland to help the team out on their journey.

Lochinvar Rural Fire Brigade member Jeff Jackson said the idea of the Fire Fighters Walk For Life arose in 2015, following the loss of a respected local fire inspector to cancer.

“We wanted to do something to help make a difference and within our own brigade we had a few members and their families facing their own cancer journeys,” Mr Jackson said.

“Cancer touches everybody,”

The group stopped in Maitland on Thursday, on their way from Sandgate to Kurri Kurri, before heading to North Rothbury on Friday and finishing at Lochinvar Fire Station on Saturday.

The group have walked from Tamworth back to Lochinvar the past two years, raising $51,000 in that time.

The 2017 trek is the longest they have embarked on so far, with an extra 25 kilometres added to their journey.

They had a great response as they made their way back to the Hunter Valley, with some motorists stopping their cars to make a donation. The group hoped to raise more than $27,000 from this year’s event.

One of the walkers Jeff Jackson said he and his walking buddies couldn’t wait to put their feet up and have a hard earned beer. They rounded off the fund raising event with a show at Lochinvar Hotel on Saturday night. “Most of us are definitely a bit sore but no where near sorry,” he said. “We all did very well.”

Funds raised by the group will be used for local support services including supporting the local Transport to Treatment service for patients in Maitland.”

Donations to support the Fire Fighters Walk for Life fundraiser can be made online at http://firefighterswalkforlife.org.

The group has also organised a charity ball at Club Maitland City on Saturday, October 14. Tickets are available at the Walk for Life website.

We wanted to do something to help make a difference.

Lochinvar Rural Fire Brigade member Jeff Jackson