Silverton firefighters greet Aussies on Barnegat Bay leg of Fire Paddle 2011
On Wednesday, August 3rd, two leading firefighters from City of Sydney Fire Station in Australia set out on the inaugural Fire Paddle, a 24 day relay paddle up the East Coast of America. Their aim; build relationships and raise awareness and funding for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
In a fun and relaxed relay paddle using both Kayaks and Stand Up Paddleboards a team of firefighters led by City of Sydney firefighters; Ben Chalmers and Shane Austin will begin their paddle on August 2nd from the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland down the Potomac River to Washington DC, then up the Intercoastal Waterway arriving in New York City for the Opening of the World Police & Fire Games 2011.
As the paddlers pushed north up the Barnegat Bay, they were greeted by members of the Silverton Fire Company as they passed Cattus Island and Silver Bay.
Reason for the adventure, Shane Austin says “After completing an International Firefighter Exchange I wanted to continue to develop the strong relationships both personally and professionally that exists between firefighters worldwide. This trip is an excellent chance to meet fellow emergency personnel and support them in the great work they do.”
The 2011 World Police & Fire Games are being held in New York City respectfully coinciding with the ten year remembrance of September 11, 2001. The games’ will be empowered by two themes: Remembrance (always remember those who lost their lives on September 11 2001) and Gratitude (an opportunity for all New Yorkers to thank the world for the support that flooded into New York City).
The Fire Paddle team are still recruiting participants, looking for sponsorship and encourage fire-fighters from all over the globe to get involved. Visit www.firepaddle.org to sign up or for further information. You can follow the journey on Twitter: @Firepaddle2011.
Photos by Silverton Fire Company.