Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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Colusa firefighters host boot drive

Colusa Volunteer Firefighters Marco Bedolla and Gabriel Salazar pass the boot on Market St. on Saturday to raise money for Colusa Firefighters Association’s programs, including the upcoming Santa on Wheels.

Who were those masked men?

Volunteers from the Colusa Fire Department hit Market Street on Saturday to raise a little cash to continue with the Firefighters Association’s community causes in the era of coronavirus.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to do our normal events,” said Lt. Mario Reyes, who organized the fundraiser.

Colusa Firefighters (from left) Martin Contrerez, Marco Bedolla, Lt. Mario Reyes, Gabriel Salazar, Rod Angus,
Chad O’Brien, and Ryan Ward gather on Market Street for a boot drive fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Instead of pancake breakfasts and other events, firefighters have held boot drives this year, seeking assistance from passersby in the hope of keeping their community programs alive. The Colusa Firefighters Association provides smoke alarms to senior citizens and sponsors Santa on Wheels at Christmastime, among other things.

“We’re reaching out to the town to help us,” Reyes said. “The funds we raise isn’t just going to the association, it goes back into the community in many forms.”

Volunteers stood in the street at the intersection of Market and 5th Street from 9 AM to noon on Saturday, and found it also a good time to provide information about joining the Colusa Fire Department as a volunteer.

Except for a small number of regular staff, the Colusa Fire Department relies almost entirely on volunteers, not only for firefighting but fundraising, Reyes said.

All the firefighters participating in Saturday’s boot drive were volunteers.

“We definitely need the support of the community to do all the things we do,” Reyes said.

Reyes said that out of an abundance of caution not to spread coronavirus, the Association will not hold large in-person gatherings like the Crab Feed, until it is safe to do so.

Those interested in volunteering, however, are encouraged to come down to the department to take a tour and see how things are done.

“There is a place for everybody,” he said.

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