By Darren Lum
Gooderham’s Station 3 volunteer firefighters are using the online fundraising website GoFundMe to help purchase a rescue vehicle valued at $25000.
The side-by-side vehicle and its rescue-specific accessories such as a rescue stokes basket winch and emergency lighting will enable the Gooderham station to replace its aging ATV.
Firefighter Angie Grant said the GoFundMe page allows people to donate no matter where they live.
“We often have individuals approach us asking how they can donate to our fire hall and this way we can direct them to a central location … making it easy and accessible. We also wanted to approach others outside of our small community who may find our story worth donating to” Grant wrote in an email.
“Response so far has been great and we sincerely thank everyone who’s donated already. We have only had the page live for a few days and have already received over $600 in donations” she wrote.
The campaign was started on Nov. 18. As of Monday Dec. 2 $2175 was raised towards the $25000 goal.
The GoFundMe page reads: “Each year Station 3 receives numerous emergency calls for assistance to the public in remote rescue situations. A large part of our area can only be accessed by an off-road vehicle. Our current rescue vehicle is an old ATV (four-wheeler) that is not adequate for the terrain we have to endure.”
Since August Grant has been a firefighter at the station which serves a population that ranges from 700 to 2000 people seasonally.
“I’m honoured to be working alongside some of the most talented and knowledgeable firefighters – some whom have been part of this hall for over 10 years” she wrote in an email.
She said they are hoping to purchase the side-by-side as soon as possible but it depends on how quickly they can raise the funds.
Last week she shared an anecdote in an email that illustrated the need for a side-by-side to service the small community.
“Our most recent call that required an off-road vehicle was for a person who had been reported trapped/pinned under their ATV for a couple hours in the bush; this call came in around midnight. Upon our team attempting to rescue this individual our ATV and ATV rescue trailer continued to get stuck in the mud and rough terrain that we were facing. If we had a side-by-side with tracks we would be able to make into certain areas quickly and efficiently – especially because we wouldn’t need to drag the rescue trailer through the bush.”
In addition to the GoFundMe effort the station is also planning several events for the coming spring summer and autumn. This will include regular barbecues garage sales and a community dance.
“We are also considering new approaches such as an open house day or family fun day – where we would invite the public to visit our hall and tour the fire trucks potentially host a demo of some of our training provide fire extinguisher training or child car seat checks. Essentially events that will be great for folks of all ages as well as families. We plan to work on our event planning over the winter season” she wrote.
To donate go to www.gofundme.com/f/gooderham-st-3-firefighters-new-rescue-vehicle .