April 17th, 2024

Medicine Hat Fire ready to brave elements for yearly fundraiser

By James Tubb on March 16, 2024.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Medicine Hat firefighters climb up the rooftop for their weekend comparing in support of muscular dystrophy.



Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Medicine Hat Firefighters are preparing for their annual rooftop campout as they are ready to fill some boots and show their support for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

From March 22 to 24, five firefighters will spend the weekend on the roof of Fire Station 2, all as part of an effort to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and raise awareness of the challenges people affected face.

“The idea I think was that we kind of braved the elements in a way to show solidarity with people who kind of brave the elements every single day of their lives, as muscular disorders start to shut down the body,” said Dylan Gustafson, director of the Medicine Hat Firefighters Charitable Foundation.

“They’re limited with accessibility issues and stuff like that,” said Gustafson. “So we just kind of put ourselves up to the elements and up to the challenge of being outside for three days just to show solidarity with those people.”

The event is a tradition for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, said Gustafson, and builds on the old “fill the boot” campaign that fire stations throughout the county have done for years.

“We’ve been partnering with Muscular Dystrophy Canada since 1971. However, the rooftop campout started about 2011,” said Gustafson. “That’s when they kind of moved it from just the boot event. We used to just fill the boot and they moved it to this new rooftop model. So we’ve been working with them for a long time.”

Over the course of their partnership, the Medicine Hat Fire Department was able to raise over $370,000 for the cause.

“Last year, we just managed to break $15,200. So it’d be great to break $15,000 again this year,” said Gustafson. “So let’s say that’s our tentative goal. We’re hoping that everybody shows up and supports like they always do and we can smash that.”

The department will have firefighters below the campsite with boots to fill for passing cars, as well as another boot on a rope for those who wish to give directly to those braving the elements on the roof.

“We’d love for people to check out the Medicine Hat Firefighters Facebook page if they are looking for more information, including the link to donate online and if they can make it down in person, and help us out for a great cause it’d be greatly appreciated.”

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