TREENA MIELKE/Rimbey Review
A member of the Rimbey Fire Department is doing his part to keep the flames of goodwill alive for the firefighters of Slave Lake who lost their homes in the recent disaster there.
In a fundraising project spearheaded by Ben Nesbitt, the volunteer fire department has sold around 30 T-shirts to firefighters, family and friends, raising around $500. These funds went to The Fire Within, an organization made up primarily of volunteer firefighters committed to providing the tools and resources to help other volunteer fire departments raise funds, increase awareness and improve training. The money raised through Rimbey’s Volunteer Fire Department will be part of approximately $20,000 raised by The Fire Within to go to the Slave Lake firefighters.
The black T-shirts have the wording ‘Rimbey Fire and Rescue honoring Slave Lake Firefighters’ on the right sleeve and on the left sleeve lettering that commemorates Jean-Luc Deba, the helicopter pilot who was killed during the Slave Lake fire. A firefighting crest on the back of the T-shirts reads ‘Pride, Honor, Integrity and Service.’
Nesbitt said the T-shirts sold very well.
“I really wish I would have ordered more,” said Nesbitt. “I had them all sold before I even got them.”
Nesbitt came up with the idea of selling the T-shirts after talking to a representative from The Fire Within.
“They asked me what I thought of the idea of selling T-shirts. They were tossing that idea around and they wanted to know if I was in.”
Nesbitt said selling T-shirts might be a good fundraiser for the Rimbey Fire Department. “We’ve tried fundraising with calendars before and there is not enough interest.”
He said fundraising is necessary for the department as they have a small budget to work with.
“Rimbey Fire Department is not like Edmonton or Calgary fire departments. We have a lot smaller budget and fundraising is a large part of what we have to do.”
Nesbitt sees the community as wanting to help the department in any way they can.
“The fire department is community members volunteering their time and a large part of their lives to get together and help other community members in times of need.”
The Fire Within organization was founded in 2005 and has developed programs resulting in more than $3 million in support of the volunteer fire service. It has awarded more than $500,000 to fellow volunteers in equipment and training.