Hemlock Valley volunteer firefighters doing training on the mountain. (Contributed)

Hemlock Valley volunteer firefighters doing training on the mountain. (Contributed)

Hemlock Valley Fire Department finding new ways to fundraise

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to the fire department’s normal way of raising money

Normally, the Hemlock Valley Fire Department holds a casino night to raise money for the firefighting team. But 2021 hasn’t been normal.

“We can’t do a lot of things to have fun” because of COVID-19, firefighter Kelly McCormack said.

That’s why he’s decided to help the department meet its fundraising goals by going digital this year.

The hope is that the funds raised this year will be enough to purchase computers for the department’s fire trucks to better understand the fires.

“Hemlock had 39 feet of snow this year,” McCormack said. “You can imagine that you can’t even see houses, because when you’re driving down the road the walls of snow are so high.”

RELATED: VIDEO: Spring is coming, but snow sticking around in Hemlock Valley

“Even if we’re not sure what we’re getting into, at least the computer will be able to tell us what the structure looks like,” he continued. “It will just give us more information.”

The Hemlock Valley Fire Department has opted to ask for donations via a GoFundMe page. So far, the department has received $890 out of their $12,000 goal on that page.

The department is also holding an online auction to try and raise money, by auctioning off items like Sasquatch Mountain Resort packages, a 43” TV, Sandpiper Resort golf packages, Aberlour scotch whisky and others.

Firefighters had also reached out to homeowners in the Hemlock Valley for their support.

That money will be presented to the fire department this Saturday (March 20), where the fire department will also be aiming to sign up new volunteers.

RELATED: Hemlock firefighters give up weekend for intense training

Trucks at the Hemlock Valley Fire Department. The department has recently received a new fire truck, which will be on display at the ski hill on March 20. (Contributed)

In the past, the fire department has put on other events to help raise awareness for the department, including letting kids try on the department’s equipment they use to tackle fires and walk a ways down the hill.

“It’s something we do all the time if we have to go to a fire, and it’s something unique for kids to get to put that gear on,” McCormack said.

While that event can’t happen this year because of COVID-19, McCormack is hoping they can still get people involved with the fire hall though its event on March 20.

“We’ll have tents with music and sign up sheets,” McCormack said. The new fire truck, which was brought up the mountain last week, will be on display, and firefighters will be skiing down the mountain in their gear.

The fire department only has 14 members, which doesn’t add up to much when many of them are only on the mountain part-time. They are hoping that they can bring in some new volunteer firefighters on board.

RELATED: LETTER: Thank you to Hemlock Fire Department chief

“We all have something to protect up there,” McCormack said about the firefighters in the department.

Only three of the 14 firefighters live in Hemlock Valley all year round, and the rest are there only part time. This means that there aren’t always many firefighters near by when the department is called for fires, or often medical emergencies.

“We’ve had a lot of air ambulance evacuations in the past three weeks. We get called for some of those, just to help set up a landing zone or to help with whoever’s in distress,” he continued.

“People break legs too often skiing or snowboarding, and they have to be airlifted out.”

The fire department will be on the ski hill between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 20, with the Hemlock Valley Homeowners Association presenting their cheque around 12:30 p.m.



news@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Matthew Balogh was last seen in Abbotsford on Sunday, April 18 at 10 a.m.
Police seek help in locating missing 17-year-old in Abbotsford

Matthew Balogh was last seen at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 18

Michael Colmant, a former manager of Abbotsford International Airport, was killed in a hit-and-run in Washington state while he was riding his bicycle.
Abbotsford man dies in hit-and-run while cycling in Washington

Seattle police still searching for driver of vehicle that killed Michael Colmant

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
IIO investigating after man seriously injured by police dog during Abbotsford arrest

Independent Investigations Office looking into incident from March 6 in 3700 block of Davie Street

A pack of three T-Rexes were reportedly seen shopping near Winners at the Junction Shopping Centre in Mission. Facebook photo / Carla Jayne.
Pack of T-Rexes spotted prowling, shopping in Mission

Sightings may confirm recent fossil evidence suggesting that tyrannosaurs lived in packs

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cash seized in a 2018 RCMP drug bust in the Lower Mainland. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP-led drug investigation nets charges for 4 in Lower Mainland

Cops seized 12 kilograms of MDMA and $380K executing several search warrants in the Lower Mainland in 2018

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s Bear Creek traffic plan

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Most Read