A group of Steinbach firefighters came to the rescue Monday night. But, this time it was not a fire needing to be extinguished or a motorist requiring assistance after a crash. The seven local firefighters spent the evening shoveling snow off driveways in the city.
Steinbach Assistant Fire Chief Russ Reimer is the man behind the plan. Reimer, who happens to be President of Firefighters For Christ Manitoba, says each Monday a group of them will gather at the hall. Often, the group will get together for a Bible study, but following the fresh layer of snow we received on Sunday, Reimer says he felt it appropriate to plan a little work project.
"So we spent the evening going around Steinbach looking for any driveway that looked in need of some help," he says. "Got there with some fire apparatus and turnout gear and the Steinbach firefighters and members of Firefighters For Christ were shoveling snow."
Reimer says it was very last minute, but they still had seven firefighters show up and had a great time doing it.
"It was awesome," he shares. "It got cold all of a sudden but being firemen we seem to be oblivious to what's going on and with the elements around us, and instead the mood was festive."
Reimer says they received excellent responses from those they helped. He notes it usually starts with the homeowner looking out the window and wondering what is going on. Reimer says most days it is not a good sign when firefighters show up at your residence. He notes after a few minutes he will usually then go to the door and let the resident know who they are and what they are doing.
"One guy yesterday kept talking to one of our other guys and he kept saying, I just don't understand why you would do this for me," recalls Reimer.
He says the answer is simple; firefighters love people. And, it is out of that love that they put on their turnout gear on a cold December night and shoveled snow for two hours at not only one complete stranger's residence, but dozens.
Reimer says their last stop was at the home of their Deputy Fire Chief, where the group stopped for some hot chocolate. He notes it is nights like Monday that grow their team of firefighters into a much tighter group. Reimer says as firefighters, they are called upon to do selfless acts. It is during these calls that they must focus on others and leave their worries behind.
"So, when we intentionally schedule an event like this where it's just out of the pure goodness of your heart to help others, everybody comes back and just feels great about things and about themselves," he admits.