The Irricana Fire Department held a very successful annual food and member recruitment drive on Nov. 26.
According to Rocky View County Irricana Station Chief Thomas Blasetti his members collected hundreds of physical donations, including food stuffs and sanitary items, and about $5,000 in monetary donations.
“This is a drive we have done every year for as long as I have been a member of the station; so almost 20 years now,” he explained. “It’s just our general drive we do around Christmas time to make sure the food bank has been fully topped up before those in need need food for their Christmas dinners.”
Blasetti said he has noticed an increase in food bank need this year in the community and in the surrounding area, as people struggle in these high inflationary times.
“It’s very clear that food banks are very important right now, unfortunately,” Blasetti said. “No one ever wants to be the one who goes in to say I need the help of the food bank, but I can tell there are probably more neighbours who need it this year than any other previous year.”
Blasetti said his members are always happy to help out this way.
“In the fire services we are always serving the public,” he stated. “Fire departments tend to have the staffing to be able to do this kind of stuff … Helping out our neighbours is huge. And being a muster station with paid on-call where our volunteers live in the community as well, we all have the drive to help each other.”
Rocky View County was asking for new fire volunteers both at the Madden and Irricana Stations this past week as the stations are short on members at the moment, and stated the final day for applicants would be Dec. 3.
But Blasetti was pleased to report to the Rocky View Weekly that both stations have had some success in inspiring some new volunteers to come out.
“From what I heard, there are 20 applicants that have applied to the Madden Station and the Irricana Station,” he said. “So hopefully, we get some good quality members that want to be long term, just like me.”