Members of Beiseker’s fire department are sharpening their skates and eager to hit the ice in a friendly hockey game against RCMP officers on March 13.
For the first time in the village, Beiseker’s firefighters will face off against members of local RCMP detachments to raise money for the Legacy Place Society and to close out a weekend of training.
The Beiseker fire department currently has 84 members and while all of them are expected to take part in the weekend of training, only the most skilled and motivated hockey players among them will be strapping on their skates.
“This is the first game we've ever done [against the RCMP],” said Beiseker’s fire chief, Nikki King, who is also a Village of Beiseker councillor. “We're totally going to hand the RCMP their [butts]. We're going to win.”
The RCMP has committed 10 players for the fun game that will be enjoyed and watched by the whole community, King said.
A firefighter’s boot will be on hand at Beiseker's local arena during the game, where people can donate money to go toward the Legacy Place Society.
The Legacy Place Society provides transitional housing for firefighters, peace officers, emergency medical services, and military personnel, King explained.
According to their website, the society was founded in 1997 by a group of police officers who felt there was a gap between professional life and the transition to the home front. Following a year that saw several suicides among police officers in Alberta, and the discovery of situations where first responders were having difficulties in coming home because of the stresses they were carrying from work, the society was created to provide a safe space and offer support services.
The society continues to offer several support services and provides a temporary home in several of its confidential and safe Legacy Place transitional houses. Since opening in 2001, Legacy Place has received more than 38,000 nightly stays between its three locations throughout the province.
King said aside from raising money, the entire weekend is about team building for members of Beiseker’s firefighting service.
“We have a whole weekend planned where we're going to practice doing some vehicle extrications, and we've got some mental health people coming in to talk about building resilience and about PTSD,” she said.
While not set in stone yet, the vehicle extrication is scheduled for Saturday, March 12 – the day before the hockey game – with a vehicle donated by a local business for firefighters to cut up, as well as a free tow of the vehicle by another local business, according to King.
“We've had a lot of community support and a lot of community engagement,” King said. “I'm really looking forward to the weekend. I think it's going to be something new and something we haven't really done before.”
The hockey game between the Beiseker Fire Department and RCMP is scheduled for Sunday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Doug Hagel Arena.
For more information on what the Beiseker fire department is planning that weekend, King encourages people to visit their Facebook page.