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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Where does the money go?

Opinion-Letters-Garibaldi-Fire-021821
A member of the Garibaldi Volunteer Fire Department details recent upgrades funded by donors.

The Garibaldi Volunteer Fire Department (GVFD) provides structural fire suppression, medical emergency response, vehicle fire response and interface fire assistance to a service area that extends from the southern boundary of the Resort Municipality of Whistler southwards along Highway 99 to the Ministry of Transportation salt sheds. The department is made up of volunteers primarily residing in the Pinecrest/Black Tusk Communities.

The department, through its charitable society, is always looking to raise funds.  Over the years, the community has been very supportive through donations made at various fundraising events. To say we are appreciative of this is an understatement. So where does the money go?

Three years ago, a new primary engine was required to maintain service levels—after an extensive search, a replacement was found. The purchase was made entirely with funds that had been raised through donations to the society over many years.  By raising donations, the department can self-fund many things at no additional cost to the regional tax base.

Our most recent purchase was for medical training gear. The department now has one First Responder (FR) Instructor Trainer, two certified FR instructors and an additional seven FR trained medical personnel. As a result of this, the GVFD is now responding to medical emergency (911) calls both in the community and in our larger callout area.  

We also appreciate our partners in the community. Home Hardware in Function was kind enough to let us sell kindling in their parking lot over a weekend, raising almost $3,000 for the department. For our annual summer fundraiser in 2019, many small businesses donated towards prize baskets that were then raffled off. A huge thanks to all the small business people!

We get it, this year especially—times are tough for many people and we appreciate even more the funds that have been sent our way. You should also know that every penny raised goes directly towards purchases for the department.

On behalf of the women and men of the GVFD, I would like to express our whole-hearted thanks to the community at large for its donations and support.

Joe McDermid // Garibaldi Volunteer Fire Department