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Smith’s Cove firefighters grateful for generosity of their counterparts in Reserve Mines

Some members of the Smith’s Cove Fire Department posing for a picture that was entered in the fire hall photo contest that is organized annually by AA Munro Insurance. Smith’s Cove ended up winning the first prize of $5,000 after the Reserve Mines Fire Department – whose entry had seemed destined to win the contest – pulled out.
Some members of the Smith’s Cove Fire Department posing for a picture that was entered in the fire hall photo contest that is organized annually by AA Munro Insurance. Smith’s Cove ended up winning the first prize of $5,000 after the Reserve Mines Fire Department – whose entry had seemed destined to win the contest – pulled out. - Contributed
SMITHS COVE, N.S. —

A story that has made headlines recently about the Smith’s Cove and Reserve Mines fire departments and a fire hall photo contest is about giving and thinking of others.
It started with the Reserve Mines Fire Department essentially giving up a shot at a $5,000 prize – which it seemed destined to win – enabling the Smith Cove Fire Department in Digby County to win it instead.
The Smith Cove department, in turn, threw its support behind another department – Parrsboro – which ended up placing second and getting a $1,000 prize.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Smith’s Cove Fire Department says he hopes the publicity will help draw attention to the challenges faced by fire departments across Nova Scotia.
Joshua Snyder, the Smith’s Cove fire chief, says his department plans to formally thank the Reserve Mines Fire Department in person for its generosity later this month during a trip to Cape Breton.
Snyder recalls being caught off guard when he was contacted by Jeff Aucoin, the Reserve Mines fire chief, who informed him that the Reserve Mines department was pulling out of this year’s fire hall photo contest organized by AA Munro Insurance.
The Reserve Mines entry had become a favourite among online voters and appeared on its way to a first-place finish. The department was planning to put the prize money towards purchasing some needed new equipment.
But when they saw the entry that was running second – from Smith’s Cove – and learned about the serious equipment needs facing that department, members of the Reserve Mines department decided to drop out of the contest, paving the way for Smith’s Cove to win it.
 Snyder said he and other members of his department were moved by the gesture, some finding it too good to be true.
“A lot of us are in the same boat,” Snyder said, referring to volunteer fire departments. “We’re fighting and scrapping for money. I’m sure they (Reserve Mines) would have put (the prize money) to good use.”
Instead, the Reserve Mines department voted, unanimously, to bow out of the photo competition, seeing that the Smith’s Cove department’s needs were greater than their own.


Meanwhile, partway through the contest, the Smith’s Cove department had learned its application for a fire marshal’s grant worth just under $20,000 had been approved.
In a Facebook post, Snyder said the grant money, combined with the $5,000 photo contest prize and fundraising efforts, will address about 75 per cent of the problem the Smith’s Cove department faced with its bunker gear.
In the same post, however, Snyder said fire departments across the province have challenges too.
“Please, it’s not about us,” he wrote. “It’s about the entire fire service and it is about our entire brotherhood of firefighters and fire departments. We all need help and support from each other, as well as our communities.”
It was a point he also touched on when interviewed.
“We just decided we wanted to speak up and bring light to the situation,” he said. “So hopefully a lot of positive will come from this, whether it’s people volunteering from the community or more funding. It’s all needed ... It’s not just us. It’s about everybody.”

Smith's Cove's shout out to the Parrsboro department after being helped out themselves by the Reserve Mines fire department.
Smith's Cove's shout out to the Parrsboro department after being helped out themselves by the Reserve Mines fire department.

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