Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service members put on the yellows recently to once again serve their community.
Except this time the yellows were tutus, and the fire came from a mythical beast.
The RFS Blue Thunder Dragon Boat team stuck their oars in for the 10th annual Dragons Abreast Festival race at Darling Harbour, which helps raise breast-cancer awareness and funds to support survivors of the disease nationally.
The inaugural RFS team comprised volunteers from several Blue Mountains brigades, most of whom had never been in a dragon boat before or picked up a paddle.
Despite that, and a commentator’s hope that they “hold a hose better than they paddle”, Blue Thunder came a respectable fifth in their category and were third-placed fundraisers out of 34 teams, with a $5172 final tally.
A number of local businesses got behind the team, including Blackheath Rotary, Palette Dining, Scenic World and
Katoomba Workwear, along with trainer Jan Caldwell from Pendragons dragon-boat club, Penrith.
Katoomba/Leura brigade team member Chris Davidson said it was an honour to to be part of such a positive way to celebrate lives touched by breast cancer.
“There was a ceremony to honour both breast-cancer survivors and those who died from it,” she said. “Flowers were scattered on the water and eight boats of survivors paddled around them. It was a beautiful and moving service. I don’t think there was a dry eye in Darling Harbour.”