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Each year, CFA holds a memorial service to remember those firefighters who gave their lives to protect others and to honour the personal sacrifices and commitment our firefighters make each and every day.
Instigated as an annual event at Fiskville in 1987, the memorial service affirms the dedication and courage of our firefighters and allows families, brigades and members of our communities to remember our fallen heroes, while reflecting on their exceptional service in protecting communities from harm.
The service has been held in various regional centres around Victoria since 1998, including Bendigo, Wangaratta, Sale, Warrnambool, Shepparton, Lilydale, Leongatha, Stawell, Frankston, Myrtleford, Geelong, Beaconsfield, Ballarat, Wodonga, Churchill and Belmont.
A ceremonial banner embroidered with each firefighter’s name and details is taken to every memorial service to represent the names commemorated on the memorial wall. Sadly, a second CFA banner has now been added to the first. A third banner commemorates the line of duty deaths of firefighters prior to the formation of CFA.
In recent, years the service has been held on the closest Sunday to International Firefighters Day which falls on St. Florian’s Day on 4 May (St. Florian is the Patron Saint of Firefighters).
Firefighters Memorial wall
Following the tragic Ash Wednesday fires of 1983, CFA established a Memorial Wall dedicated to all the men and women of CFA who have lost their lives while serving their communities.
Construction of the memorial wall at the former CFA Training College at Fiskville was completed in December 1986. It was officially opened by the then Premier of Victoria on 12 April 1987.
With the closing of Fiskville in 2015, the plaques from the wall were moved to the Victorian Emergency Services Memorial where they are contained in a vault.
Victorian Emergency Services Memorial
When Fiskville was closed in 2015, a memorial committee was formed to oversee the establishment of a new firefighters’ memorial. The committee worked closely with the affected families to find the best possible location and outcome for everyone. In 2018, the Minister for Emergency Services announced a new Victorian Emergency Services Memorial to honour fallen members from CFA, MFB (now FRV), VICSES, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV), Ambulance Victoria, Life Saving Victoria and Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR), to be located at the Treasury Gardens in Melbourne’s CBD.
CFA has worked closely with Emergency Management Victoria to ensure that the new memorial continues to honour, respect and remember our members who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Located near the JFK memorial in the Treasury Gardens, the central location is in a quiet and peaceful setting which is accessible to family members, brigades and members of the public wanting to pay their respects.
As a symbol of continuity from the old site, the original plaques from the firefighter memorial at Fiskville are built in to the new memorial site in a vault. The names of our fallen firefighters will be listed on the wall at the memorial.
The Victorian Emergency Services Memorial was completed in 2020 and will host some of CFA’s annual memorial services. The memorial is open to the public and more information on the garden on the Treasury Gardens website.
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* The memorial also commemorates firefighters from CFA’s predecessor organisations, the Country Fire Brigades Board and the Bush Fire Brigades Committee, prior to the formation of CFA.