PINANTAN — When in need, crowd fund.
That’s what a lot of entrepreneurs and organizations do these days but it’s probably a bit unusual for a fire department. Yet that’s exactly what the Pinantan Lake Fire Association is doing.
After residents turned down construction of a fire hall last year, a new group of volunteers stepped forward to pick up the issue and have been busy for the past several months getting a brigade going on a shoe string budget.
The truck that was going to be housed in a new fire hall has been mothballed and is up for sale, and a new group of residents has been assembling alternative equipment and holding regular practices.
Still, it takes money, so the fire association has taken a unique approach by setting up a gofundme page with a target of $10,000. At this writing, 16 donors have pledged $735. A separate cheque from a supporter has brought the fundraising total to $876.
Rikki Ashley, secretary-treasurer for the association, says the funding is needed for insurance, training and equipment. “We do get donations of equipment, but not everything we need,” she says.
She added that one of the group’s own members is a firefighter trainer and is providing some training for free. Liability insurance for the 15 brigade members costs about $2,500, “plus we now have WCB for our members, too.”
Pinantan has a dedicated first responders group and they need equipment and training, too, so they’ve been included in the fundraiser. The funding will be split equally between the two groups.
“Plus it makes sense to work together raising money as both are essential services and we would want first responders at any fire we might have to fight.”
The 1979 Mack fire truck, which was donated by the McLure Fire Department a few years ago, is up for sale on Kijiji and Craigslist — any proceeds from the sale will go toward equipment needed for holding water.
Media — including CBC radio and Shaw TV — have been helping the cause with some good publicity. Anyone wanting to check out the gofundme page can do so here.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Pinantan Lake Fire Association on Facebook.