The "Frozen Four" successfully completed their four night stay on top of the Leduc Protective Services Building. (From left to right) Firefighters Leah Bender, Jay Cavanagh, Keltie-May Nicoll, and Dustin Kavanagh celebrate getting back down to terra firma.
It might well literally be the coldest, hardest way anyone can try to earn a dollar but four Leduc firefighters camped out in the freezing cold for four nights just trying to bring in as much cash as they could, while keeping none of it for themselves!
In the annual Fill The Boot drive that Leduc Fire Services runs every year to raise funds to find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy, four firefighters volunteered to march onto the roof of Leduc's Protective Services Building on the morning of Tuesday, February 4th and camp up there for four days. They stayed up there through -36 degree temperatures even after their heaters failed on the first night but knowing the difference they were making for people suffering from MD their spirits never flagged. Over those four days on the city run live webcam they could be seen entertaining visitors, playing games and even at one point dancing on the roof!
This year the campers also threw in a twist as to how they exited the roof. Showing off their newly learned skills of a "bail out", which is used to get off the roof or out of a window of a burning or collapsing building, all four campers quickly rappelled down the front of the building and met in a group hug at the bottom to a loud round of applause and car honks from the many spectators gathered out front and driving by.
Several local dignitaries said a few words as the campers came down, beginning with Leduc City Fire Chief Ernie Polsom. He said, "'Proud' is the word that comes to mind. Proud of the efforts, professionalism and support that has been shown by our firefighters and the community. We live in an amazing City!"
Mayor Krischke commented that it showed a lot of "grit" to be out in the cold to do this. Commenting on the fundraising that is achieved in Leduc every year he stated, "We pull above our weight but you guys take it up another notch!"
MLA George Rogers teased everyone that he had just returned from Jamaica and that he was "a fair weather camper at best!" And then commended the firefighters for their efforts before presenting them with a personal cheque for the cause.
After the officials were done speaking the campers were asked if they had anything they wanted to say and Jay stepped forward to thank all the businesses, organizations and individuals in Leduc and area for their "wicked support", and then joked that the campout had been a real success because they all still liked each other!
After everyone headed inside the Fire Station camper Kelti-May took a few moments to speak with us on the actual experience of being up on the rooftop for four days.
Pipestone Flyer (PF): What was the best moment up on the roof for you?
Kelti: When a bunch of my friends and family came up on the roof and made a donation. They even brought my dog Rupert up for a visit! That was great.
PF: What was your worst moment?
Kelti: Waking up the first night at -36 after our heater broke. I had to pry myself out of my sleeping bag to try and fix it. We couldn't get it going so at 2:30 am we all moved into the other tent, and then at 6 am that heater went out too!
PF: What was the most fun you had up there?
Kelti: We managed to get our hands on a megaphone that also had a siren attachment on it so we were heckling all the cars as they stopped to make their donations. They thought it was funny too and they were honking and waving back at us. And every time we had a (fire) truck go out on a call we turned our megaphone siren on too!
PF: What did you miss most?
Kelti: Going out on calls. Watching the trucks leave and waving at them as they went out was pretty tough.
PF: Now that you are off the roof, what is the first thing you are going to do?
Kelti: Find a hot tub to hang out in!
PF: Given the chance, would you do it again?
Kelti: It definitely had its challenges but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a good mix of people up there. We were good friends going in and this just made us closer. Our brother/sisterhood of firefighters here is so strong. In Leduc our motto is "Our Family Protecting Yours". It really rings true here. I also can't thank people enough for supporting us! I really hope we made our goal this year.
Well according to an anonymous tipster it sounds like Kelti will probably get her wish and then some! Even though the official donation count will not be completed until the middle of this week it is looking like Leduc blew past its goal of raising $30,000.00 this year. It just remains to be seen by how much. Once again, way to go Leduc! The air might be frosty but this City combats the temperatures outside with their warm hearts!