Winton brigade members give back

(From left) Zara Campbell (13), Charlotte, Jack (6), and Guy Johnstone, Steve, Charlie (4), and Louise Turton, and Annabelle Rae (8) promoted a free pancake breakfast at Winton Volunteer Fire Brigade last month to thank the community for their support.

TWO Winton firefighters shouted the community breakfast last month to thank them for their support.

Guy Johnstone and Steve Turton were due to take part in the Firefighter Memorial Stair Climb at Auckland’s Sky Tower on September 11.

The would have climbed the 60-story tower twice the size of the World Trade Centre in New York to commemorate firefighters who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

The event had since been postponed due to Auckland being in Alert Level 4.

Mr Johnstone said they cooked a pancake breakfast to show gratitude to the community which was always behind them on their fundraising events like the Sky Tower Challenge which raised money for Leukaemia and Cancer New Zealand.

“We are always asking them for help with our fundraising or hitting them up for money and donations, so we thought it was the perfect time to give it back. To acknowledge our appreciation for their support.”

About 200 pancakes were served for attendees who filled the tables of the Winton Volunteer Fire Brigade on August 15, he said.

In the meantime, both firefighters had been training and preparing themselves for the challenge.

It was the first time they would be taking part in the event. As part of the registration, they had to choose a fallen firefighter to climb for.

Mr Johnstone would be climbing in honour of Robert Foti, while Mr Turton would be honouring Ruben Correa – both were members of the New York City Fire Department who died while working to save lives at the World Trade Centre.

“Seeing their picture and reading a little bit about them was actually a wee bit emotional and it became very real.

“It’s not just a memorial climb for the 343 fallen firefighters in America, we are remembering our own 66 firefighters that have sadly died in the line of duty… it is about paying our respects to our greater firefighter family,” Mr Johnstone said.