Australia's rural firefighters are battling the biggest bushfires the world has ever seen, and they don't have adequate face masks to protect them from harmful particulate matter.
PM2.5 particulate matter from bushfire smoke is carcinogenic and also linked to heart disease. They are also being exposedother extremely harmful toxic chemicals like asbestos and VOCs from houses that have burned down.
The last thing the wonderful men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect us, deserve, is a cancer diagnosis or other chronic health problems in the years to come.
I feel particularly passionate about ensuring our firefighters have adequate protection having been through cancer myself and lost friends to cancer.
We have already donated and delivered 18 face masks to the Murwillumbah Rural Fire Brigade, and 3 masks allocated to firefighters from other brigades thanks to Allens Industrial and Ophelia at My Sister's Keeper who is facilitating delivery of masks to firefighters across the country.
100% of money raised will is being used to purchase additional face masks at a cost of $110 each.
At a time when we are all feeling pretty helpless - this is a really simple and practical way we can express our thanks to the men and women on the frontline and do everything in our power to prevent them having to face serious health issues in the months and years to come.
You can be assured that when you donate this way it is going to reach the people that need it the most - those on the front line. Millions of dollars is being donated to volunteer organisations but this is not being trickled down from headquarters to our volunteer firefighters who are having to fund all their equipment except their trucks and uniforms.
How amazing would it be to see every volunteer firefighter in Australia given a face mask that adequately protects them from carcinogenic particulate matter in bushfire smoke... with many hands, I truly believe we can make light work!
- Helen Lierz
- Sabine Becker
- Chloe Burgess
- Penny Donnelly