Alma and East River St. Mary’s Fire Departments are among 19 rural volunteer fire departments in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton to receive a financial boost from a new program that recognizes the many contributions firefighters make to rural communities.
Each of the 19 departments, selected in a random draw by Seaside Wireless Communications in Sydney, will receive at least $2,750, including $2,000 from Seaside and $750 from Nova Scotia Power. Thanks to contributions from local municipalities and other donors, some departments will receive nearly $5,000.
Both Pictou County departments will receive $2,894.
“As we expanded our wireless internet network throughout the 10 counties of northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, we’ve been impressed with the consistent and constructive role played by volunteer fire departments,” said Seaside CEO Loran Tweedie. “Our wireless division does all its business in rural Nova Scotia, so we think it’s only right for us to recognize the outstanding leadership of these men and women.”
In addition to the cash donations, Seaside has offered any department within range of its wireless towers free high-speed Internet service and a free public Wi-Fi portal hosted by Seaside.
Seaside has also created an internet domain, NSFire.ca, that will provide free website hosting for fire departments anywhere in Nova Scotia, and serve as a resource for news and information about fire services in the province.
Nova Scotia Power has supported volunteer fire departments for the last several years as part of its Good Neighbour program. The program has included donations of $5,000 to eligible fire departments, to be used towards equipment, training, or other necessities that allow these fire departments to carry out their important work in rural communities.