Fire chiefs work on spending GoFundMe money
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | November 9, 2017
Eight months after Kris Guyton launched a GoFundMe campaign for the Highlands East fire department, acting fire Chief Chris Baughman and his colleagues are developing their wish list.
On Nov. 1, Baughman confirmed his department received all of the money that was raised for life-saving equipment. The campaign brought in $20,230, exceeding its original goal by $16,730.
“The district chiefs and myself have met and we are currently investigating options of equipment and training that would best suit the fire department and community,” he told council.
Four months ago, CAO Shannon Hunter told The Highlander the funds were transferred to the Monmouth Firefighters Association and then would be handed over to the municipality. The association is comprised of firefighters from Ward 4 in Wilberforce who fundraise and purchase items for their hall.
Guyton, a former Highlands East firefighter, launched the fundraiser last February after cottager Bob Bell died when he fell through the ice while snowmobiling on Dark Lake near Wilberforce.
The fundraiser was for “desperately needed rescue equipment and training, focusing on ice and water rescue,” states the GoFundMe page. In an earlier interview, Reeve Dave Burton said the money would be used for training only. In July, Hunter confirmed the department provides shore-based rescue but not ice water rescue. She also said council will ultimately decide how to spend the money once Baughman makes recommendations.
“Council will determine how the funds will be disbursed and meet the GoFundMe parameters,” she said.
Baughman’s update was part of his monthly operations report, which was received for information only.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.