Red balloon message holds true for event

FULL COVERAGE: National Red Balloon Day from start to finish

NATIONAL Red Balloon Day was everything key organiser Jody Hardiman thought it would be and much more. 

The campaign, which was started late last year as a Facebook event, reached people across Australia. 

The committee sold about 30,000 red balloons and raised more than $15,000 to be donated to fire services in each state. 

About $1000 was made in donations. 

Ms Hardiman said she was thrilled with the way the campaign had turned out and described it as surreal. 

"It has been amazing," she said. 

"I know it's big but I don't think it has sunk in the potential of where it will go.

"It's hard to believe - the support has been fantastic."

Volunteer firefighter Chris Corr said he saw a number of balloons dotted around the city on Friday and said he felt a sense of pride. 

"I think it is a fantastic initiative from community members to thank the firefighters," he said. 

"It has been great and it is amazing to think that all of this has happened in a period of five weeks. 

"It's just phenomenal." 

Mr Corr said he had been a firefighter for about 22 years and enjoyed giving back to the community. 

"(Being a firefighter) is a great way you can (give back to the community)," he said. 

"It involves teamwork and is an important service that somebody has to provide.

"I enjoy doing it."

CFA community education co-ordinator Paul Tangey said the organisation would like to thanks all firefighters for their support and efforts during the fire season. 

He said this also included people who performed support roles such as air crews, staff at the incident control centre, people who co-ordinate the logistics, community education workers and many more. 

Mr Tangey said the organisation would also like to thank the employers of CFA staff who allow their staff to take time off work. 

He said the organisation would also like to thank fire services around the country who offer assistance in Victoria and the community for their efforts. 

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