HomeCommunityCommunity joins Thank a First Responder Day

Community joins Thank a First Responder Day

Thank a First Responder Day Bundaberg emergency service
Bundaberg emergency service personell Wendy Gearside, Wesley Kirk, Sue Hansen, Russell Rowland and Michael Formica at the inaugural Thank a First Responder Day.

Emergency service personnel in the Bundaberg Region were acknowledged for their tireless efforts as locals put on a barbecue for Thank a First Responder Day.

Fortem Australia with the support of Rapid Relief Team hosted the free barbecue lunch on Wednesday providing the opportunity to thank all first responders in the Bundaberg Region for the wonderful work they do.

Bundaberg’s Sue Hansen said it was the inaugural Thank a First Responder Day in region and she hoped the event would continue each year.

“These dedicated workers go to work to keep the community safe and to provide assistance when people are in need,” Sue said.

“This event is a great opportunity for community to come and meet with some of our first responders to show their appreciation for the contributions made by the police, ambulance officer, fire fighters (paid and voluntary), SES, volunteer marine rescue and others.”

Sue said organising the lunch was a special opportunity for her and she thanked the community for coming together to give thanks to the everyday heroes of the region.

“From a personal point of view, I lost somebody very dear to me as a first responder,” Sue said.

“I think from that tragedy I wanted to do something positive for first responders and our community and I want the community to realise the first responders are out there to keep us safe.

“Our first responders or emergency services as we know face many traumatic experiences on a regular basis.

“They come across trauma, and they get abused, so it’s important for them to recognise that there are a lot of community members who are out there to support them, say thanks and know that they do a wonderful job.”

Thank a First Responder Day was spearheaded by Fortem Australia, a national charity organisation providing evidence-based, wellbeing and mental health care to first responders and their families 365 days a year.

Sue said it was important to support the mental health of all emergency service personnel.

“We need our volunteers, we need the first responders and our emergency services, without them you can imagine what society would be like,” Sue said.

“If they don’t have their mental health they will quit their jobs… having people with experience being able to cope with mental health and move forward is really important.”

Thank a First Responder Day recognises over 370,000 first responders and national security personnel who play a critical role in keeping local communities safe.

Fortem Australia Managing Director John Bale said first responders were always there when the community needed them, often putting others before themselves in the toughest of circumstances.

“What is often overlooked with their selflessness and bravery is that they are human just like the rest of us and sometimes require support to help them continue to do their important work,” John said.