Firefighters make Tyler’s bushfire walk a team effort

ONE WOMAN’S mission to raise money for the people and wildlife affected by the Australia bushfires turned into a team effort at the weekend.

Tyler Thorne is a postie by day, but set herself the challenge of walking 15.6 miles from Portelet to Town wearing full firefighting uniform.

She thought she would be doing the walk solo, but several firefighters showed up, also in the gear, so it became a joint effort.

Miss Thorne said their company was very welcome.

‘The guys were great, the conversation flowed and it was lovely to get to know them.

‘The support from the public was unbelievable, motorists were tooting their horns and waving out of the windows, and stopping to donate money.

‘Some of the children wanted to have their photos taken with the firefighters.’

As a postie, Tyler is already pretty fit because of time spent on the bike and hopping in and out of the van.

But the extra 13 kilos of gear did take its toll.

‘I had the fire retardant trousers, jacket, helmet with chin strap and a self-contained breathing apparatus cylinder, and by the end I could feel the straps rubbing into my shoulders.

‘The hardest part was probably the final stretch from Bulwer Avenue into Town because we were going into a headwind and the waves were coming over the top of the wall, but we managed not to get wet and the suit is waterproof.

‘There were another two firefighters in a car behind with water and snacks, so that was a big help.’

‘I want to thank all the firefighters, when I contacted the chief fire officer Jon Le Page to ask him if I could borrow a suit, he could not have been more supportive and helpful, he even came out and walked part of the route.’

Tyler Thorne during her fundraising walk. (27184950)

Miss Thorne spent eight of her formative years in Australia, so the cause is very close to her heart.

More than 2,400 homes in Australia have burned, making it a hugely traumatic and anxious bushfire season for residents and the emergency services.

It is estimated that more than a billion animals have died in the blazes; koalas and wallabies, as well as bird, fish and frog species are among those said to be needing the most help.

Half of Miss Thorne’s donations will go to the Rotary National Bushfires Appeal and the other half will go to WWF Australia.

After the walk on Saturday Miss Thorne’s fundraising total stood at more £2,600 and she has more than tripled her online donation target.

. People can still donate on her JustGiving page or there is a donation bucket at the fire station.

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