Rescue squad sets up fundraising gala

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May 14, 2015 8:15 AM

The Lloydminster Rescue Squad introduced a new logo (pictured) as part of a rebrand that commemorates the organization's 30 years of service. - Supplied

The Lloydminster Rescue Squad is calling on residents to support the squad, which has supported the community for 30 years.

The rescue squad will host its first annual Sirens and Sapphires fundraiser gala on Oct. 17 at the Lloydminster Exhibition Ground’s Stockade Convention Centre. The organization is counting on a large response, as it seeks a major budget boost to help resolve several issues, most notably, relocation.

“The city would like us to leave the building here at the end of the year,” said Norm Namur, chief of the rescue squad. “We’re looking at many options right now. We’re looking at renting something or leasing something or moving altogether to a location that we can get for free or whatever works. We’re trying to find something that will house all of our equipment.”

Namur says that the city extended the contract on the rescue squad’s current city-owned building by one year, but has plans for it that do not include the group. He added that the organization may need to look beyond Lloydminster for its next address.

Also facing the squad is the need for equipment upgrades. Not only do older materials need to be replaced, but the rescue squad needs to purchase equipment and uniforms for new volunteers.

“Each volunteer costs roughly about $4,000 or $5,000 to bring them onto the squad with uniform, training, radios and the gear and all that. So it does cost quite a bit to bring someone on,” Namur said. The group currently has two volunteers waiting to join its current team of 23 rescuers.

The Lloydminster Rescue Squad specializes in automobile extrication and assists citizens that are trapped following a vehicle collision. It also has a search-and-rescue team and helps save people trapped under ice or water.

The Sirens and Sapphires gala will feature a live and silent auction hosted by Danny Hooper, who will also showcase his musical talent at the event. The bands Bruin and Freddie and the Axemen are also scheduled to perform.

The rescue squad will sell $100 tickets for entry into a draw for its grand prize, a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

While the gala offers the rescue squad a chance to collect much-needed funds, it’s also an opportunity to look back on 30 years of serving Lloydminster and surrounding areas.

See “Rescue squad,” Page 9

“What reflects most for me is the key players - and I think Number 1 is the community - how much the community has supported us in terms of donations, in terms of equipment,” Namur said. “And secondly, it’s the membership that drives this organization. Like it says on the side of our trucks: ‘Compassion for all.’”

Even though the gala is many months away, the organizing committee says it hopes to generate early interest and awareness for the important event. Individual gala tickets are already on sale for $125, while tables may be booked for $1,000. Both can be purchased at Coldwell Banker - City Side Realty, Richardson’s Jewellery or Ironjet Promotions.

“We’re excited because this is the first major gala that we’ve ever done,” said Namur. “I think it’s going to be a fantastic evening, it’s going to be a classy evening.”

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