Cape Breton fire department hopes for community support to complete its fleet
SYDNEY, N.S. -- A Cape Breton fire station known for going above and beyond the call of duty is now hoping for some community support to complete its fleet.
Last year, Cape Breton’s Reserve Mines Volunteer Fire Department had the chance to win $5,000 through a ‘Fire Hall Photo Campaign’ contest put on by AA Munro Insurance.
But they passed on the money when they heard that a fellow Nova Scotian volunteer fire department, Smith’s Cove Fire Department in Digby County, N.S.. was in second place and didn’t have nearly enough equipment.
“They really, desperately needed the money. So we made the decision to pull out of the competition and support them,” says Steven Binder, deputy fire chief.
The Reserve Mines department posted to social media, asking their supporters to vote for Smith’s Cove instead, in an act of selflessness that touch peoples’ hearts across the Maritimes.
“We hoped they would win, and they did in fact win, so it was great for them” says Binder.
A few weeks later, the Smith’s Cove members travelled to Reserve Mines to show their appreciation in person.
Now the Reserve Mines department is back in the contest again, and this time it is them that could use some help, after one of their trucks burned while fighting a fire in Glace Bay.
“We lost some equipment on that truck that we haven’t recovered yet,” says Binder. “Insurance covered most of it, but yes, we could certainly use that money towards that.”
For the second year in a row, Reserve Mines is off to an early lead in the contest.
Sean O’Connell is the photographer who took last year’s photo for Reserve Mines.
“It was a pretty honourable thing for them to do for Smith’s Cove,” says O’Connell, who has recently signed on as a member of his own volunteer fire department in North Sydney.
This year, O’Connell has submitted two photos to the contest -- of his own department in North Sydney, and a second photo of the department in Reserve Mines.
While he says he’d like to see his own department do well, he wouldn’t fault anyone for supporting the men and women of Reserve Mines, just down the highway.
“It’s a good opportunity for Reserve Mines to win again,” says O’Connell. “That money goes toward life-saving equipment for the firefighters, and it also goes to protecting the community.”
Binder admits it would be kind of fitting if things came full circle.
“It would mean a lot to us for sure, we could certainly use the money,” says Binder.
The contest, which is decided by Facebook likes on the AA Munro Insurance page, wraps up on Nov. 8.