A Boots-on-the-Ground Initiative for Rural Ontario Firefighters

Dec 12, 2013 12:00 PM ET

MUNICIPALITY OF THAMES CENTRE, Ont. – Christmas came early this year for the 62 men and women of the Municipality of Thames Centre Fire and Emergency Services Department. Because for this group of volunteer firefighters in rural southwestern Ontario, warm feet are every bit as important as a stocking filled by Saint Nick.

On Nov. 4, 2013 – when 62 pairs of leather firefighter boots arrived at the office of Fire Chief Randy Kalan, courtesy of a $21,700 contribution from Enbridge – Kalan knew his teams would put them to very good use. Kalan’s crews had been wearing steel-toed rubber boots on the job, which met the basic safety regulations, but left firefighters with blistered, achy and even frostbitten feet after a few hours on duty. What Kalan didn't know, however, was just how timely this delivery was.

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