Firies have well and truly stepped up for mental health

By Holly Tregenza

SEVEN of Kyabram's firefighters powered up the stairs of the Crown Metropol Hotel over the weekend, but there was no fire in sight. 

The volunteers, decked out in 25kg of turnout gear and breathing apparatus, were among about 500 who tackled the 28 flights of stairs for the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb, which raises money for Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute. 

But the local climbers aren't counting themselves as heroes; long-time participant Peter Ferguson said the real legends of the campaign were far from Melbourne city. 

"The support from the Kyabram community been phenomenal," he said. 

Through sausage sizzles, a trivia night and the support of Kyabram P-12 College, the Kyabram brigade has raised a staggering $9425, which is $2213 more than last year. 

Of the 250 participating brigades, Kyabram is sitting at number five on the donation leaderboard. 

And it didn't fare too poorly on the time trial either. 

Mr Ferguson topped the team with a time of five minutes and 35 seconds, followed by first-timer Logan Bamford-Phillis with six minutes and five seconds and Matthew Ford with six minutes and 40 seconds. 

Wayne Peterson came in just shy of seven minutes at six minutes 59 seconds, Gary Espagne came in at nine minutes 27 seconds, Ash Corrin made it to the top in a flat 10 minutes and Brooke Giddings finished in 13 minutes 47 seconds. 

"We had a fantastic time; there is always great camaraderie and team spirit and I think most of us already have our sights set on next year," Mr Ferguson said. 

He thanked the community groups and businesses that helped fundraising efforts. 

"In particular Bakers Delight and the Main Street Butcher have just been absolutely phenomenal," he said.

"As well as the businesses who got on board for the trivia night and of course Kyabram P-12 College."

The College raised a whopping $1490 through a sausage sizzle and free-dress day. 

At the time of writing, the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb had raised $489,457. 

Those donations will improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of depression, PTSI and suicide.

To contribute, head to and search for the Kyabram team.