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Firefighter competition heats up in N.B.

Seeking to stoke the hearth, a weekly 50/50 draw for volunteer fireplace stations in New Brunswick is offering a little bit of pleasant competitors between native departments.

“We’ve been attempting to name out just a few of the neighboring communities to compete,” stated Salisbury Hearth Chief Bradley MacLeod. “We’ve had the highest spot plenty of the time.”

Final week, Salisbury known as out Dorchester Hearth Rescue. It’s a rivalry that’s continued on for one more week.

“Once we form of began selling it in our group, we surpassed them fairly shortly and so then it grew to become a sport of catch up and who might put whose fireplace out first or who might flame whose fireplace the largest,” stated Sara Boyce, a fireplace captain for the Dorchester Hearth Division.

“Once we got here out on high, Salisbury stated, ‘Subsequent week let’s do finest two out of three, let’s see what can occur,’” she added. “Firefighters love bragging rights.”

The draw began out with solely 10 departments taking part, however has shortly grown to 57 throughout the province.

“It’s at all times been a wrestle to lift cash for all of the native departments,” stated MacLeod.

Nevertheless, with it now being a mixed effort between all departments and an added incentive for individuals to donate, the weekly draw has been fairly the success.

Every week the successful 50/50 ticket holder will get half of what’s raised general and each station receives half of what they bring about in, giving them the chance to instantly assist their very own station.

“We simply purchased a brand new clam shell stretcher, goes beneath individuals, simple to maneuver,” stated Dorchester Hearth Chief Greg Partridge. “[We’re] at all times searching for one other defibrillator, we wish one in each truck.”

“We like one of the best in gear, so we don’t need to accept something much less.”

Partridge joined the hearth division about 48 years in the past and says fundraising has at all times been an necessary a part of the job.

He says that the affiliation has at all times purchased the rescue automobiles, that are used primarily for medical and generally motorized vehicle accidents, and moreover cash that is available in from the 50/50 will assist fund that and additional gear that’s wanted.

Among the finest elements in regards to the fundraiser is every station will get to resolve what must be bought and when.

“Only recently we made a purchase order for a brand new side-by-side, our outdated ATV that we’ve had earlier than was getting aged, we had issues going to scenes the place it simply wouldn’t cooperate with us,” stated MacLeod.

“We’re trying to get a brand new truck, and a few of the gear that we’ll be stocking on that truck will likely be instantly outcomes of the 50/50.”

Nevertheless, even placing competitors and funding apart, each station actually does come out a winner.

“It’s an enormous morale increase for firefighters as a result of we’re simply group members, we’re volunteers right here. So, to know that the communities standing behind us and pushing us alongside, it’s an enormous morale booster,” stated Boyce.

It’s additionally been the principle supply of fundraising for a lot of fireplace stations because the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Final week was essentially the most profitable for Dorchester and essentially the most profitable for the 50/50 generally,” stated Boyce. “The most important single raised fundraising division had been Sackville really and that was a couple of 12 months in the past in January and so they had raised $6,675 for his or her division. So we surpassed that final week, which was big and the jackpot nearly doubled from the biggest jackpot.”

MacLeod says by including in a little bit of public competitors, it’s helped get the general public extra invested as nicely and has even branched exterior of the stations.

“My spouse, she’s from Sackville. She is aware of plenty of native individuals right here in Salisbury who’re from Sackville and when she’s selling the draw and help for Salisbury, a few of them are messaging her and saying, ‘Effectively I’ve obtained to route for my hometown,’” he stated. “They could stay right here, however their loyalties are with their hometown.” 

As for the present rivalry, it’s all in good enjoyable.

“Salisbury and Dorchester have a rivalry occurring for the subsequent week or so, however fireplace departments will rally behind one another as a result of we’re all right here to do the identical factor, which is to assist individuals,” stated Boyce.

Tickets for the weekly draw can be found for buy till 9 p.m. on Thursdays in New Brunswick, however Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island even have a weekly draw to help native fireplace stations.

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