Four Gallagher Bassett members have taken part in the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb (MFSC) to fight depression, post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI), and suicide.
The GB members, Stephanie Connolly, claims operations manager, Elisha Garipidis, business account manager, Blake Dalton, claims team manager, and Brett Burnham, client relationship manager, climbed up 28 floors of the Crown Metropol Hotel wearing 25kg of turnout gear and breathing apparatus, alongside 600 firefighters, in a bid to raise 700,000 for the Emergency Services Foundation, Lifeline, and the Black Dog Institute.
GB raised more than $3,500 through fundraising, tin shaking in Melbourne CBD, and in-house donations from GB team members.
The funds will be used to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas, and build awareness of mental health issues such as depression, PTSI, and suicide, especially for those within the Defence and Emergency Service communities.
“Being involved with the MFB stair climb and fundraising was personally a really rewarding experience,” Burnham said. “Our team were very honoured to be able to compete with the real firefighters, and to contribute to the event through our company sponsorship, but also the fundraising activity, from tin rattling in the CBD, to online fundraising and then walking the floors of GB and getting the staffs generous donations. Such important causes being supported – Lifeline, Black Dog Institute and the Emergency Services Foundation. We are looking forward to continuing our support for many years to come.”
GB noted that more than 3,000 Australians die by suicide every year, and 373 members of the ADF took their own lives between 2001 and 2016.
The initiative is still accepting donations, which can be accessed via the MFSC website.