The Lloydminster Rescue Squad has decided to postpone the 6th annual Sirens and Sapphires Gala until 2021 due to safety concerns.
“I feel it’s responsible for us to hold off for one more year. I know, it’s a downer, we were really looking forward to it but we were trying to hold off until the last second to see where everything was going. With some of the [COVID-19] cases going up, we just decided to be safe,” Chief Norm Namur.
The gala proceeds help the organization with operational costs and replacing older equipment.
Being one of the nonprofits biggest fundraisers of the year, raising over $100,000 for the Squad last year, they’ve had to find another way to fill that financial gap.
The Rescue Squad announced, along with the postponement, that it is selling advertisement spots on their Rescue and Recovery trailer for local businesses.
The business will get their company logo on the trailer for $5,000 with all proceeds going to the Rescue Squad.
The purchase will include a commemorative picture with the businesses logo which will be presented to the buyer by Lloyd Rescue.
Another photo will take place at location of the business
“We won’t raise as much, but at the end of the day the community can participate in the program we got going,” mentioned Namur.
With the community being affected in many ways, Deputy Chief Ryan Leblanc hopes businesses can help despite the pandemic’s impact.
“We’re asking for the help this year. I think it’s something that the Lloyd Rescue doesn’t put out there too often, to ask for the help. I think these tough times we’re sure feeling it. If these businesses are able to do this for us we would sure appreciate that.”
Anyone looking to view the trailer or donate to the Rescue Squad can reach out via phone at 306-825-9244.
“It’s going to be a tough year, we’ve had to make some cuts within our organization and it’s definitely not an easy thing to do. We hope with the support of the community we can carry on doing our work,” expressed Leblanc.
Increase in 2020 recreational calls
Along with figuring out fundraising efforts, the organization has been busy as they’ve seen an uptick in conduct search, rescue, and recovery missions on the water this Summer.
The volunteers received numerous calls at the beginning of the year before tapering off from March to May.
As of July, Namur said they have surpassed midway year calls compared to last year.
“We’re doing more calls this year, and we’ve relatively busy the last couple months,” said Leblanc.
He mentioned the increase in cases is due to recreational activities such as ATV and boating accidents.
The Rescue Squad is urging people to wear the proper equipment when boating, or quading this summer.
“If you’re on a quad or side by side, make sure you have a helmet, and with a side by side, make sure you wear a seat belt,” said Namur.
He said the squad has received a few rollover calls this year.
“On the boating side, again if you’re going to go on the water, just make sure there are enough life jackets in the boat for every individual on the boat. Make sure life jackets are easily accessible if not, make sure the younger generation wear them with the proper size,” adds Namur
Continues diving equipment fundraiser
The Scoop has also taken the month to help raise money for Lloyd Rescue.
The squad is looking to upgrade its scuba diving equipment, dive suits, and the sonar for their boat.
“We’re were able to purchase both the diving computers that we were wanting to get. We’re pretty excited about that. We’re hoping we can continue on with this campaign,” said Leblanc.
As of July 27th, the organization has raised $3,400 out of the $20,000 goal.