Granum Fire Department boosts morale during isolation

Morale Booster - This past weekend the Granum Fire Department marked two children's birthdays and the ending of a two-week precautionary coronavirus isolation after another resident returned from the United States. Fire department members drove by the residences with sirens on and flashing lights to boost morale during the coronavirus isolation.

Birthday Alarms!

By Lawrence Gleason
Local Press Writer
Granum Fire Department members gave Granum residents a big morale boost during this COVID-19 isolation.
Fire department members took out Granum’s full complement of fire trucks to drive by two Granum residences on Friday, April 17, and another on Sunday, April 19, to mark two children’s birthdays and the ending of a two-week isolation of a Granum resident who had visited the United States.
“Fire departments in the cities had started this, and we got a call asking if we would do it as well,” said Granum Fire Chief Duncan McLean. “We had members free at the same time so we were happy to do it. Then we got another call, then another.”
Joining the Friday Granum Fire Department birthday parade in his red emergency services pickup was Kelly Starling, emergency services manager for the Municipal District of Willow Creek.
Starling said the Claresholm and Fort Macleod fire departments have celebrated birthdays the same way, the fire department lights and sirens salutes starting March 17.
“It’s definitely worth the time and effort to do it,” said Starling. “From a personal standpoint it brightens the mood right up. We incorporate family members in the parade if we can. We do this from a safe place and wave.”
The first Granum Fire Department lights and sirens birthday salute was for Brady Ring, on Friday, who was in his front yard with his father, Glenn. Brady’s grandparents, in their pickup, were driving in the parade of fire department vehicles with a hand-written sign on cardboard, reading, “Happy Birthday, Brady.”
The second Granum Fire Department parade birthday salute was for Hailey Thiessen.
Another call asked if fire department members could cheer Granum resident Larry Hague marking the end of his two-week isolation after returning from the United States, which the fire department members were happy to do.
The fire trucks were out twice on Friday, and once on Sunday on their morale boosting rounds.
“This is a tricky time,” said McLean. “It’s hard on kids.”
McLean said the fire department would take in birthday requests for a fire department lights and sirens parade by a Granum residence, but added if there are a lot of requests, the fire department may decide to bunch the requests together and celebrate them once per month.
“If it’s overwhelming, we’ll do something like that. We’re a small department,” said McLean, adding, “This was not just good for the people we did this for, but it was also good for our fire department members. It was a good thing to do. It was good for the recipients and it was good for us.”