Maryborough pauses to remember the fallen Firefighters
EVERY time the names of fallen firefighters are read out, Shane Austin feels the memories of his friend coming back in a flood of emotions.
The Maryborough Fire Station officer was one of dozens who attended a memorial service for firefighters at St Paul's Anglican Church yesterday.
It was one of hundreds of ceremonies held across the state for Firefighters Remembrance Day, which paid tribute to Queensland firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty across history.
The day holds particular importance for Mr Austin, who lost a friend on the job about eight years ago while serving in NSW.
"It just brings back all the memories we had while in the service and really reinforces the camaraderie and family we're a part of," Mr Austin told the Chronicle.
"Services like these remind everyone there is a risk in what we do.
"Seeing all these people makes me realise we're under the same circumstances, including rural firefighters who are volunteers and risk their lives just as well."
The annual commemoration is traditionally held on the 10th day of the 10th month.
During the service, the names of 52 fallen firefighters, some hailing from Gayndah, Childers and Bundaberg, were read out during a tribute by members of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.
QFES Acting Assistant Commissioner for North Coast Region Michelle Young said it was important for family and friends in the region to know the community remembered them.
"The last fallen firefighter happened in the North Coast region," Commissioner Young said.
"It's really significant to the family and the members of that brigade."
At the service, Commissioner Young spoke about the fire service being like a family, a sentiment which was felt worldwide.
"Everyone in that church today has known or worked with someone who has gone onto the heavens and it's really important we recognise the sacrifices people have made," she said.
"We all know it can be a dangerous job, we train well, we train hard.
"We're expert and professional in our business, but unfortunately it's a dangerous line of work and sometimes the day doesn't end happily and someone doesn't come home."