Firefighters ‘step up’

Firefighters ‘step up’

Kalangadoo Country Fire Service volunteers Scott McMillan and Stephanie Janetzki are stepping up for the ninth Annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb this Saturday.

They will join 700 other firefighters and emergency service personnel from around the country to fight depression, Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) and suicide by climbing the 28 floors of the Crown Metropol Hotel wearing 25kgs of turnout gear and breathing apparatus.

The pair have contributed to the current total of over $345,000 raised for Lifeline, Fortem and the 000 Foundation, to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of mental health issues.

Mr McMillan and Miss Janetzki will represent New York Fire Department firefighters John K McAvoy and John J Tipping II who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11 in the line of duty.

Mr McMillan originally worked for Ambulance Victoria, later becoming a firefighter in Victoria for the Country Fire Authority before moving to South Australia last year where he currently volunteers with SA Ambulance and the Country Fire Service.

Mr McMillan said he found volunteering in South Australia is a lot more community minded and close knit than over the border.

“The community has been very welcoming to me and it’s nice to be able to give back and support the community in the way that I know best,” he said.

“I feel like in a lot of ways people do not have an understanding of exactly how much first responders’ mental health is affected by what we see.

“We are always there to help people out in their best and worst times but sometimes it’s when we finish up for the day and go home that it all comes back to us mentally.

“I have seen some things that have left a lasting impact on me and my mental health as well as friends and colleagues that have had similar experiences.

“It’s not just about helping those that are still going but also about remembering those that have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty.”

Visit to donate to the cause for Scott and Stephanie.

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