Lytham firefighters march 11 miles along sea front in memory of brave Aussie mates
Firefighters from Lytham decked out in full kit embarked on a walk along the Fylde coast to show their support for the heroic efforts of life-savers on the other side of the world.
The team marched 11 miles in memory of 11 firefighters who died while battling some of the fiercest bush fires Australia has ever seen.
They met at Lytham fire station, on Station Road, at 10am on Sunday and walked up the Promenade to Bispham, stopping at their piers and at Blackpool Tower along the way.
Laura McGaghey, of the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, who took part in the walk, said: “It was a really good turn-out. There was probably abour 10 firefighters from Lytham, St Annes and Preston stations, a couple of others, and then the fire cadets from South Shore, so there was quite a big group of us.
“We were quite visible because we were in full kit, so we had a lot of people honking their horns and stopping to put money in the buckets.
“We all completed it wearing breathing apparatus, with a few more blisters than what we started with, but it went really well.”
The team raised more than £3,400 fore the New South Wales fire service in an online fundraiser, in addition to donations collected during the march.
Like Lytham Station, the New South Wales crew is made up entirely of on-call volunteers.
Australia’s 2019/2020 bush fire season was one of the most devastating in the country’s recorded history.
At least 34 people are believed to have been killed, more than 5,900 buildings were destroyed, and an estimated 46 million acres were burned.
Recent rainfall helped firefighters control the spread of the bush fires, which have been burning since September - but the good news comes too late for the people and animals who have lost their lives.