Supporting mental health awareness, Ballarat's firefighters have raised almost $10,000 after climbing the 28 floors of the Crown Metropol, but they're pushing for more.
On Sunday, 20 firefighters from Ballarat, Buninyong-Mount Helen, Sebastopol, and Wendouree were among the hundreds who took on the challenge to raise awareness of depression and post-traumatic stress injuries among emergency services.
Patrick Cashin, from the Buninyong-Mount Helen brigade, said that was the most important part - the money raised goes to Lifeline, the Black Dog Institute, and the Emergency Services Foundation, to help with their essential projects.
They are lifesavers, Mr Cashin said.
"There's funds targeted towards us (as emergency service workers), but the money to Lifeline goes to the call takers on Friday and Saturday nights when they can't get volunteers," he explained.
"We want to get the message out there - I've lost two friends (to suicide) in the last 12 months, and I wouldn't have another friend here without the support."
Mr Cashin added the culture around mental health at the CFA was improving.
"We go to jobs and some of the stuff the general public don't see, but you might go to a job and it might not affect us within a week or so, but five or six, 10 years down the track," he said.
"The culture, particularly around that, has changed a lot, particularly at Buninyong and the wider Eureka Group, the culture around mental health has changed dramatically since I started, but we still have a long way to go."
On the day, Mr Cashin raced up the 28 flights with the full breathing apparatus on his back - he finished fourth in his category, he said, with a time of 4.42.827.
"I missed out on third by 0.114 of a second," he said, noting he almost keeled over at the finish line.
Donations are still open on the Stair Climb website.
If you or someone you know is in need of crisis support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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