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Helping hands
Fire department to get more involved in community events

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Building a strong community depends on people and organizations helping each other out when they can.

To that end, members of the Rankin Inlet Fire Department are quick to donate to a worthy cause when their budget allows.

NNSL photo/graphic

Firefighter Nick Harman, right, presents a $500 donation on behalf of the Rankin Inlet Fire Department to Churchill fire Chief Leroy Whitmore to aid his department's attempt to raise $50,000 to replace its 1969 pumper truck in Churchill earlier this month. - photo courtesy of Mark Wyatt

Fire Chief Mark Wyatt said the firefighters raise a lot of money for the Rankin department because the hamlet doesn't have a super-healthy budget for fire services.

He said firefighters have to raise money to purchase items their department really needs, such as extra equipment and uniforms.

"We raise a lot of money through bingos and auctions," said Wyatt.

"We'll also be doing barbecues, car washes and raffles among other things.

"While we tend to raise a lot of money for ourselves, at the same time there are other community groups that often need help.

"Making donations to them can't be an all-the-time thing but we do what we can do help in the community."

The Rankin department recently made two $500 donations - one to help the Churchill Fire Department purchase a new pumper, and one to help local gymnasts travel to competitions.

Wyatt said the Rankin department is trying to get a lot more involved in community events.

He said it's also trying to make a few charity donations to worthwhile causes when the budget allows.

"We always have to look at our own finances first but things come our way that we take a look at supporting.

"We're fortunate in that even though we've got trucks that are pretty old, they're provided by the Government of Nunavut, so we don't have to raise money to buy trucks.

"Helping the Churchill department seemed like a very worthwhile cause to us and with us donating, maybe other departments will also help it out.

"The gymnastics club was a natural choice for us to do what we could to help out."

Wyatt said the members collectively decide what causes to support.

He said the finances are raised as a group, so decisions involving them are also made that way.

"Any donation we make is always appreciated.

"Sometimes we're looking for donations, and sometimes we give them out.

"Different groups have to help each other in a small community.

"That was my philosophy coming here, which a lot of our guys share."

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