Fire truck pull (11 photos)Sunday, September 23, 2012 by: Darren Taylor
There were a lot of shouts of ‘Go! Go! Go!’ in the Station Mall parking lot yesterday morning.
Why the shouting?
It was the second annual Fire Truck Pull, a fundraiser for Crime Stoppers of Sault Ste. Marie and the District of Algoma.
Teams participating were Sault Fire Services, Main Filter Muscle, ‘Los Federales’ (a combination of federal government employees, including Canada Customs officials and the RCMP), the Bonsoothiasts, Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, Sault Ste. Marie Public Works, Flakeboard, and the Sault Ste. Marie OPP.
The objective was to see which team, each consisting of 10 members, could pull a Sault Fire Services truck in the shortest amount of time for 60 feet using a rope about three inches in diameter, along with a lot of strength and competitive determination, all for a great cause.
After the first round, Sault Fire Services topped the group of competitors at 15.50 seconds.
Highest score in the second round went to the OPP.
Then it came down to the finals, between Sault Fire Services, Public Works, and Flakeboard.
After winning last year’s inaugural event, defending champions Sault Fire Services won, at 15.06 seconds, with second place going to Public Works at 15.71 seconds, Flakeboard in third at 16.59 seconds.
Sure, Sault Fire Services have more experience working with fire trucks, but hey, so what?
It was all for a good cause.
President of Crime Stoppers of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Len Bailey told SooToday.com the importance of Crime Stoppers, and today’s fundraiser, cannot be underestimated.
“We provide pieces of the puzzle to police, somebody sees something, hears something, they pick up the phone and call police and help solve a crime, remaining anonymous,” he said. “These days, with social media, you can text in a tip and that’s very successful, that’s really working.”
“Social media has made a huge difference in the amount of tips we are getting, you can be a high school student sitting in the cafeteria, and there’s a drug dealer selling drugs next to you and you can text in a tip and you would never know where it came from and we’ve actually had that happen several times, and we have school liaison officers and we give them a call and they nab the guy!” Bailey continued.
“As far as our operational budget goes, now that we use social media, we have an answering service that covers us 24 hours a day, we have to have a full time employee, so we’re looking at a budget of 50,000 dollars a year, and that doesn’t include the rewards for tips.”
“There’s no government support, so fundraisers like this are important. We’ve had financial challenges, but events like today will help.”
Looking to the future, Bailey told us: “We’re looking at resurrecting the Great Algoma Lock Up, where you can lock up a friend and he has to get pledges to get out, that was a very, very effective fundraiser. It’s an ongoing challenge just to keep the dollars coming in to pay the rewards, we’ve never ever, ever had a challenge with the rewards, its just a challenge to keep up the operations of a not for profit company.”
“Next year we’re looking at having an event for high school kids, where they pull a Hummer, maybe an East-West challenge.”
Final amount of pledges collected for today’s event were not immediately available, but Bailey reported “last year we had a great time, very successful. We cleared about 6,500 dollars, and we’re expecting about the same this year.”