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Memorial Service on Ash Wednesday date

14/02/2013

A memorial service will be held this weekend to pay tribute to all Country Fire Service (CFS) fire fighters who have died serving South Australian communities since 1976, the year when the former Emergency Fire Service (EFS) was renamed the CFS.

The special service to be held at the Mount Lofty Summit on Saturday will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday bushfires which claimed 28 lives in South Australia including three CFS fire fighters.

CFS Regional Commander Chris Martin said this has been an annual event since the formation of the Mt Lofty Tower Brigade in 2000.

"Before then, only two memorial services had been held at the summit – one in 1984 and another in 1997 but they only focussed on the three CFS fire fighters who died in Ash Wednesday and no one else before this bushfire," Mr Martin said.

"After the Mt Lofty Tower Brigade was established, its members began hosting an annual memorial service to remember all CFS volunteers who have died on duty and not just in bushfires but in other emergency incidents including structure fires, to reflect the diversity of the work undertaken by CFS volunteers."

Thirty years on from Ash Wednesday, the CFS has evolved into a robust and dynamic emergency service with more than 13,400 volunteers who are committed to protecting our communities from various risks and emergencies 24/7 and not just bushfires.

"The memorial service this year coincides with the 30th anniversary of Ash Wednesday but its focus will be on all CFS volunteers who have tragically lost their lives before, during and after this bushfire," Mr Martin said.

"As South Australians we all have a responsibility to reflect on their sacrifice and the anniversary of Ash Wednesday is an appropriate time to do that."

The CFS memorial service will take place at the obelisk at Mt Lofty Summit at 6pm on Saturday, 16 February.

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For media enquiries telephone the CFS Media Line on (08) 8115 3531.

Further information:
Contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361, for hearing or speech impaired users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 362 361 or teletype service TTY 133 677 then ask for 1800 362 361.
Other options are available at National Relay Service.
Or visit www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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