Australian firefighter Ricky Smith spoke with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about being a part of the 2024 Australian Firefighters Calendar, which helps many different charities.
Since its launch over 31 years ago, the Australian Firefighters Calendar has donated millions of dollars to Australian charities and has become the world’s most popular calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales over the last three decades have supported medical research into sourcing better methods to treat severe burns in children. “I am really excited about this calendar,” he exclaimed. “It should be very good. 31 years is a long time so it’s pretty cool to be a part of it.”
“I had a mix of animals this year for the calendar, it was really cool,” he admitted. The calendar also has a proud history of supporting animal refugees and Australian Wildlife in the past and that will continue into the future.
On being the cover model, he said, “I didn’t expect to make the calendar this year let alone to be the cover model for the third year in a row… I am pretty stoked… it feels really good.”
“It was cool to have American and international firefighters to come onboard with us this year,” he said. “Hopefully, they had a good time and saw some of Australia’s culture. It was great to have them over here.”
A hero of a different kind, Ricky Smith served his community as a Surf Lifesaver for 23 years before joining the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES). Australia is known around the world for its beautiful beaches and for keeping beachgoers safe are equally famous Australian Surf Lifesavers.
“The firefighting has been going really good, we’ve had some busy days,” he said. “I think it is going to be a busy summer for us. It has been good. I enjoy it. Every day is different and interesting. I love it.”
Joining his first surf club as an eight-year-old, Ricky finished his surf lifesaving career as a professional surf lifesaver, rescuing swimmers from Australia’s unpredictable and sometimes treacherous oceans every summer.
Rescue Rebuild, a shelter renovation program of Greater Good Charities, recruits’ volunteers from across the U.S. to renovate animal shelters, domestic violence shelters, veterans housing and homeless shelters. The Rescue Rebuild team has completed 175 renovations that have helped more than 3,200 people and more than 720,000 pets.
The Australian Firefighters calendar continues its support of the Kids With Cancer Foundation. Since 1998, the work this foundation does in supporting Australian families and hospitals around the country is nothing less than extraordinary.
The calendar will also benefit the following nonprofit organizations: Australian Seabird Rescue, Fauna Rescue of SA, Healing Hooves, Native Animal Rescue, Wildcare Inc., Safe Haven Animal Rescue, Best Friends Felines, and All Breed Canine Rescue Inc.
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Smith said with a sweet laugh, “Watch this space.”
Regarding his definition of the word success, he said, “being happy and having friends and family around.”
“This calendar is really for great causes and great charities. All the guys are nice and they are doing this for charities. I hope people check it out to support a good cause,” he underscored. “People should get copies… it would make good Christmas presents,” he added.
He shared that he saw the new Tom Cruise “Mission Impossible” movie, and he found that “really cool.” His favorite series to binge-watch is “Vikings.”
Smith listed “pizza” as his favorite cheat meal. His favorite sports to watch are NFL and the Rugby League, and to play AFL or Rugby League.
His superpower of choice would be “to be able to fly.”
“Don’t take any day for granted,” he said about his favorite motto to live by. “Live every day to the fullest.”