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Tuesday, 06 December 2011 15:59

2012 fire department calendars available in Coaldale and Macleod

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By Susan Quinlan
Fort Macleod/Coaldale
Those looking to Christmas shop while supporting their local firefighters are in luck in a couple of southern Alberta communities.
Both the Coaldale and Fort Macleod Fire Departments have published their own 2012 calendars in time for Christmas gift giving.

In the past, both departments were featured along with others in a calendar produced by the Fire Within.

“Those calendars sold for $20 and after the first year we had difficulty selling them, because they were not local content,” said Coaldale Fire Chief Andy Van Rijn.

Fort Macleod Fire Chief Alan Zoteman concurred.

“We had a lot of public feedback. They were really nice calendars, professionally done, but we only had one month. We thought we should just do one of our own,” said Zoteman.

Volunteer photographers then stepped forward in both communities, with Richard and Korine Kreft taking on the project in Fort Macleod, while Mike Paterson of Paterson Photography did the same in Coaldale.

“(Mike) doesn’t charge us for his work; we just give him one month of free advertising in our calendar,” said Van Rijn.

2012 represents the fourth year Coaldale has “gone on their own,” with past years having quickly sold out.

“We use our calendar proceeds to purchase equipment for our department,” said Van Rijn, which is what’s intended in Fort Macleod as well.

From a $200,000 rescue truck and thermal imaging cameras to helmets and boots, both departments have used funds to keep their fire departments well equipped.

“This year, we replaced our ice rescue sled for $2,000, (bought) 36 new fire helmets for $12,000, 36 new leather fire-fighting boots for $10,000 and two personal thermal imaging cameras for $9,500,” said Van Rijn.

“We’re in the process of saving for a bush buggy for rapid response,” said Zoteman who described the bush buggy as a fully equipped one ton truck complete with water storage and pump.

“We have one, but it’s aging. It’s something that’s going to take a few years to get enough together.”

They run in the $80,000 range.

In addition to contributing to the purchase of fire-fighting equipment, Zoteman pointed out theirs is an attractive calendar to boot.

“By buying our calendars, citizens are supporting the volunteers that provide excellent services to the citizens of Coaldale and the County of Lethbridge.

All money raised, every penny of it goes back to purchasing equipment for our department,” said Van Rijn.

“Not everything we need is purchased with tax dollars. By us fundraising, we are able to keep our costs down to run our department.”

The Coaldale and District Emergency Services Calendar is available at a cost of $10 at the Coaldale Fire Hall, Van Rijn Electric Ltd. or from any member of the department.

The Fort Macleod Volunteer Fire Department calendar costs $20 and is available at the Fort Macleod Town Office.

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