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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 15:26

Firefighters come through huge, now residents can help

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The phrase band of brothers may be overused, but in the case of the Rural Municipality of Swift Current’s fire department it fits perfectly.

I can’t speak for what their personal lives are like, but the last week probably has been one of the more difficult ones for the R.M. of Swift Current crew.
They, along with the talented City of Swift Current’s city and Gull Lake fire departments did more than an admirable job fighting what seemed to be never-ending grass fires from different directions.
Think about what these firefighters did: saved homes, businesses and farms, not to mention the hospital and the hard work already done on the  early stages of the new integrated facility.
The impact on the lives of people, both on economic and personal levels could have been catastrophic. It wasn’t a disaster because of the diligence, perseverance, intelligence, physical and mental prowess of hard-working people in all the departments. Really, it was that close.
The City crew did a great job and residents are lucky to have such a well-trained team. However, the efforts of the R.M. team shouldn’t be overlooked. They too, did an outstanding job, and considering they are volunteers, the efforts they made especially should be applauded.
Take for instance Louis Cherpin, the R.M. of Swift Current fire chief who tirelessly helped battle the fire last week and didn’t get home until 4 a.m. He was getting back to his full time job by 7:30 a.m. the same morning. The same can be said for his team.
The only good thing about this ridiculous extension of winter weather is the parched ground was able to get some much-needed moisture and (hopefully) relief from any more fires.
While Twitterverse and social media has been abuzz of what the causes were to the fires, in the end it ultimately doesn’t matter. Structural fires and grass fires will inevitably happen — unintentionally or criminally. For a community to survive and thrive, there is always a need for strong emergency services personnel and that includes a strong police force, ambulance and yes, fire department.
The fire department whether in the City or the rural area, may not be called upon every day, but when one needs them, all that training, mental preparation and past experience better come through big, because there’s no room for “oops” or “we just about had it.”
It sounds cliché, but congratulate and say thanks to those firefighters who were out there.
If there’s a way one can show gratitude to the R.M. of Swift Current department it’s to  support them in their efforts to help one of their own, Dave Anderson.
Anderson, who was also a 12-year member of the city department, has run into some medical problems and the financial issues, not to speak of the mental toll, has been difficult for him and his family.
The R.M. firefighters are hosting a benefit including a meal and silent auction for Anderson May 21 at the Eagle’s Hall (see story Page A14). The benefit is near and dear to the R.M. squad. Talking to Cherpin (and likely the same with any of the firefighters), it means a lot to them to support Anderson.
If one is thankful the city/businesses/livelihoods/ were saved, prove it. Support them May 21 by making a donation, donating a silent auction item, buying a ticket (the food should be outstanding — thanks Louie D’s) and helping them help one of their own.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read 1876 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 16:18
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor