Acting station officer Kristal Johnston, Aaron Sands, Josh Harrison, Justin Corry, Chris Brett and acting station officer Chris Sullivan at the Gladstone Fire and Rescue Service Station.
Acting station officer Kristal Johnston, Aaron Sands, Josh Harrison, Justin Corry, Chris Brett and acting station officer Chris Sullivan at the Gladstone Fire and Rescue Service Station. Mike Richards

Red balloons a way to say thanks to dedicated firies

BATTLING grass fires, retrieving trapped animals and looking after alarm activations are all in a day's work for the Gladstone Fire and Rescue service.

Acting station officer Kristal Johnston said 95% of the time the jobs at the fire and rescue service were wonderful.

"But every now and then we have bad incidents and we see some things that other people probably aren't exposed to," she said.

This Friday is National Red Balloon Day, a day dedicated to thanking firefighters.

"The guys in Gladstone go above and beyond their duties," Ms Johnston said.

In Gladstone there are up to 27 people in the Gladstone Fire and Rescue service, joined by around 20 volunteers in the region.

Ms Johnston commended the volunteers for their dedication.

"They (the volunteers) mainly assist with grass fires and property type fires.

"They do it off their own back so they're out there working hard to protect the people in our community for no pay."

She described her job as memorable and fulfilling.

"One incident in particular where it was a house fire... where we found a lady unconscious in the lounge room because of smoke inhalation and we actually got her out of the house and another crew member conducted CPR, and she was still alive and she still is today."

On an average day at the station they would have around two to three jobs, but the majority are not serious.

"The most enjoyable part of the job would be being respected by the community, I suppose, and doing the school visits and visits to the elderly are quite rewarding," Ms Johnston said.

This is the first time National Red Balloon Day has been held.

"We don't expect gratitude, we're just doing our job, but if you would like to buy a red balloon, all proceeds go to the children's burns unit."

Official Thank You Fireys red balloons are available at nationalredballoonday.com.

National Red Balloon Day

  • Queenslanders are being encouraged to fly a red balloon from their letterbox, fence or business window, or a ribbon from their car, to let all firefighters know just how much we appreciate their dedication, hard work and tireless efforts to protect life and property throughout the year.
  • In Queensland, all proceeds go directly to the Royal Children's Hospital Burns Unit.


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