As part of the inaugural Powercor Country Program in 2016, Essendon Football Club and Geelong Football Club are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Country Fire Authority.
A number of initiatives have been planned to recognise the partnership, including a special lap of honour prior to the match with CFA volunteers from around the state, support for the CFA Home Fire Safety Campaign and proceeds from the Essendon and Geelong match worn guernsey auction donated to mental health initiatives at CFA.
AFL legend Kevin Sheedy said the partnership with the Country Fire Authority was a great alignment for the new Country Game blockbuster in Round 4 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
“This partnership is a really important opportunity for the AFL community to thank the CFA volunteers who risk their lives to keep our communities safe,” Sheedy said.
“The CFA brigade in every country town, similar to the local football club, represents the very essence of Australian values and culture and during difficult times, is the fabric that keeps a community together.
“The CFA volunteers play a vital role in every community across Australia and it is only fitting we recognise their courage and commitment as part of the Country Game activities.”
Country Fire Authority CEO Lucinda Nolan welcomed the opportunity to pay tribute to firefighters on a national stage.
“Day in, day out, we have firefighters across the state who drop everything at a moment’s notice to keep the community safe. Often they are the very same people who are the members, supporters and players for the local sporting clubs,” she said.
“CFA members come from all walks of life. They include volunteers, career firefighters as well as logistical and support staff.
“The Geelong and Essendon Football Clubs are providing all Victorians the chance to give our membersthe thanks they deserve by opening up the hallowed turf of the MCG to a group of ordinary people who do extraordinary work.
“This summer has been particularly fierce with multiplefires, particularly the Wye River fire that destroyed 116 houses. Without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and career members, the damage could have been much worse.”
FACTS ABOUT THE CFA
• CFA (Country Fire Authority) is a volunteer and community based fire and emergency services organization, helping protect 3.3 million Victorians, and more than one million homes and properties across the state.
• The CFA has 59,000 members - 97 per cent of whom are volunteers – working across 12,000 stations in outer Melbourne as well as rural and regional Victoria.
• Along with other emergency services the CFA attend 35,000 incidents a year including bushfires, structure fires and rescues
• The CFA works with the community to prepare for emergencies and build resilience