The Merrickville Fire Fighters Association will be holding a pancake breakfast fundraiser in April to raise money for a trailer to carry their off-road UTV. The purchase of the trailer will be the culmination of their Rural Response Program, which will enable the Fire Department to respond more effectively to fires and other emergencies off-road and in remote areas. The first piece of equipment they purchased as part of the program was their brush truck in 2014, followed by their UTV in 2018. Interim Fire Chief, Brad Cole, says the brush truck and UTV are integral to the Department, considering much of the area they service cannot be accessed by their big fire trucks. “We also cover a large section of Limerick Forest,” he adds.

During the summer, the brush truck carries a small tank of water to fight small grass fires and a skid unit for off-road rescues. Both pieces of equipment are also used in the winter, but the water cannot be stored in the truck because of freezing temperatures. The skid unit is large enough to have a paramedic ride with the patient to attend to their injuries. “We offer our services to police and EMS if needed,” Brad says.

Both the brush truck and the UTV have proved very useful over the past few years, and the addition of the trailer will improve their ability to respond to remote and off-road incidences. To purchase the trailer, the Merrickville Fire Fighters Association is looking at raising around $5,000. “We hope to be able to buy the trailer this year,” Brad says.

The pancake breakfast is the Association’s first fundraising event of the year. It will be held at the Fire Hall at 317 Brock Street on Saturday, April 6, from 8:30am-11:00am. The breakfast is $10/person and includes pancakes, bacon, sausages, juice, coffee and tea. Brad says all the trucks will be parked in the driveway to allow for tables for the breakfast to be set up in the Fire Hall. All are welcome to come take a look at the fleet, and fire fighters will be on hand to answer any questions people have about the trucks or the Fire Department.

The fundraiser is being organized entirely by the 23 current members of the Merrickville Fire Fighters Association. Printing of the posters for the breakfast was donated by COBA Studios, and Brad says they would welcome anyone who wants to act as a sponsor for the breakfast. Regardless, the fire fighters will be ready and waiting bright and early on April 6 to serve a hot meal to those wishing to support the Merrickville Fire Department.

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