The legendary Australian Firefighters Calendar celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023, which makes the release of this year’s photos even more impressive. Each year members of the fire service pose for eye-catching photographs to support a wide range of charities.
There are six editions of the Australian Firefighters Calendar for 2023, which are officially on sale now. In the calendars, the men appear in uniform. They pose with dogs, cats, horses and other animals. This year, there is an all-new, all-denim edition that sees the men in denim for the summer.
The men photographed for the calendars every year are not models (but they certainly could be). No, these guys are real-life working Australian firies.
Among the 2023 pin-ups is Queenslander Ricky Smith, who has been part of the service for the past six years. Before joining the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES), Mr Smith was a surf lifesaver for 23 years.
With Australia known for its beautiful beaches. Mr Smith has kept beachgoers safe, rescuing them from the unpredictable and sometimes treacherous oceans.
“The most rewarding part of being a surf lifesaver was rescuing people from a potentially life-threatening event,” Mr Smith says. “That’s why I wanted to continue serving the community by joining the fire service.”
Ricky Smith continues to help people when they are at their most vulnerable.
Australian Firefighters Calendar has raised $3.4 million for charity
Through the sale of these calendars, $3.4 million has been raised and donated to Australian charities. Funds have supported medical research into sourcing better methods to treat severe burns in children. The calendar also has a proud history of supporting animal refuges and Australian wildlife.
In 2023, the money raised is going to the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations (CAVFA), which will fun much-needed equipment across the country.
Money will also go to the Kids With Cancer Foundation, Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, Australian Seabird Rescue, Fauna Rescue of SA, Healing Hooves, Native Animal Rescue, Wildcare Inc, Safe Haven Animal Rescue, and Best Friends Felines.
This year’s dog calendar features the firefighters with rescue dogs from Safe Haven Animal Rescue. All the cats for this year’s cat calendar were rescues from Best Friends Felines.
The horse calendar features therapy horses from Healing Hooves.
Australian Firefighters Calendar popular world-wide
Six of the calendar firefighters were invited to Los Angeles to appear on the Kelly Clarkson Show in October, to celebrate the 30-year anniversary. It’s the biggest talk show in the United States. What’s more, the firefighters have also appeared on ACCESS Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and Good Morning LA.
David Rogers, director of the Australian Firefighters Calendar, says everyone was eager to visit after three years of not being able to travel.
“As the world has opened up after the [coronavirus] travel restrictions, the firefighters have been asked to help rebuild Australia’s tourism industry,” Mr Rogers says.
Australian firefighters are also involved in the upcoming Taipei International Travel Show, representing China Airlines.
“The last time we attended this event, pre-Covid, we helped sell 3,000 trips to Australia,” Mr Rogers says.
Despite there being six editions of the calendar available, Mr Rogers says the most popular edition is always the mixed animal calendar. Australia’s most recognisable animal, the koala, features every year on the cover.
“Since this edition was created five years ago, it’s the cover all the firefighters want to feature on,” he says. “It’s the calendar most coveted by international fans.”
Matt Ross — and koala, Cindy — have the cover honour for 2023.
Mr Ross was headed to a life in high finance before embarking on his journey of being an Australian firefighter.
The Fire Rescue Victoria firefighter says the selection process for the fire service was long and “extremely competitive”.
“In the fire service I have found a more community-focused and fulfilling career,” Mr Ross says.